Club History

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Post by Admin on Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:09 am

Many of you may know Brian Littrell as a member of the highly successful musical group, Backstreet Boys. However, before the lights, cameras, and platinum records, Brian Littrell was a child who suffered from heart-related illnesses.

Brian was born with a ventricular septal defect, a small hole between the left and right ventricles of the heart. Although Brian was active like any other child his age, his congenital heart defect made him more susceptible to infections. At five years old, one small cut would almost cost him his life.

In 1980, Brian was admitted to Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. His small cut, the byproduct of a big-wheel accident, had become infected and soon traveled to his heart, resulting in a life-threatening condition known as bacterial endocarditis. Brian would spend the summer at Saint Joseph Hospital where physicians gave him no chance of recovery. However, Brian miraculously beat the odds and by summerís end returned home a happy, healthy child.

It wasnít until 18 years and many concerts later that Brianís heart defect would once again play a pivotal role in his life. Due to his congenital heart problem and the stress placed on his heart by the rigors of performing with the Backstreet Boys, Brianís heart muscle had grown dangerously large. His physicians, worried by his heartís growth, suggested open-heart surgery to repair the hole in his heart. This time it would be the caring and giving qualities of Brianís heart, not its defects, which would change the lives of countless children forever.

Before undergoing heart surgery, Brian and his family approached Saint Joseph Hospital with the idea of creating a fund to pay for pediatric heart surgeries. However, Brianís childhood cardiologist, Dr. Jackie Noonan, advised Brian that a program where children are taught the benefits of a heart-healthy lifestyle may prove more beneficial to a greater number of children. Brian liked this idea and in May of 1999, the Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids was established.

The Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids offers education, exercise, nutrition, and counseling to children ages 8-12 who suffer from a heart condition or have a strong disposition towards developing heart disease. Membership into the club requires a physicianís referral based upon the childís established medical need and is free to all participants. The program consists of eight-week sessions held on Saturday mornings.

The Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids began with two club sessions per year, but has grown steadily and is now facilitating four per year with over one hundred children graduating from the program thus far. Funding for the program has come from several sources, Brian and Leighanne Littrell, a portion of ticket sales from Backstreet Boys concerts, the sale of official club merchandise through the Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids web site, and direct contributions from the public. Club activities are monitored and supervised by a full-time coordinator, Brandon Edgington, and a board of directors that includes physicians, nurses, physical therapists, a school psychologist, and Brianís mother, Jackie Littrell, among others.

Currently, the Healthy Heart Club coordinator, board members, and the Littrell family are developing a comprehensive health education program that will serve as a complete kit for each of the eight-week sessions. This comprehensive kit will include: videocassettes, instructional manuals, workbooks, instructional models, posters, promotional materials, and t-shirts (essentially, a club that can travel anywhere). The goal is to establish the Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids on a national level with chapters throughout the country.

Mission Statement:
The Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kidsģ will educate children and their families regarding the benefits of adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle. Through education, promotion and caring the Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids ģ fulfills its mission of nurturing heart conscious families while being instrumental in creating healthier communities.



Number of posts : 526
Age : 36
Location : Belgium
Registration date : 2007-09-17

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