Our cardiac testing has spared many other parents from asking that same question. By 2006 we raised enough money to bring EKG screening to the students of Max’s alma mater, Lake Forest High School. I’m proud to say that volunteers from that first screening year are still with the Foundation. Our growth trajectory began with family and friends fundraising, creative management, and an unwavering focus on providing cardiac screening to young adults. Our mission was embraced by the communities, supported by the schools, and widely recognized for its life-saving benefit to young adults. In August, we will reach a huge milestone when we provide our 100,000th EKG test in Max’s name.
This past May, Max would have celebrated his 37th birthday. To us, he remains the boundlessly energetic 20 year old he was when he died. But in the intervening 17 years we have aged and the Foundation’s been impacted by global factors. Our core staff are working past their desired retirement age, Covid has severely restricted our ability to serve students in the school, and we face the unfortunate confluence of increased cost and reduced income.
We are not alone in facing these challenges, but that doesn’t lessen the sadness we feel when we realize the Foundation needs to wind down its cardiac screening program. In the spirit of never say never, we will continue to look for partnerships and avenues to transfer our screening mission to others. Our last cardiac testing will be in November of 2023. That seems a long way away, but it allows us to provide two more school years of cardiac screening before the hard-stop date related to an enormously expensive software update. As with the loss of Max, we are sad beyond belief, but proud and glad for the time we were able to make a difference in his name.