Meet Heather L. VacLav
2021 Cotes du Coeur Survivor

Hear from a survivor, Heather L. VacLav, as she shares her personal heart story and how donors like you have impacted her incredible journey.

Heather has been a volunteer with the American Heart Association since she was a teenager. After being diagnosed with a leaky heart valve at the age of fifteen, she made it her mission to be an advocate for women’s heart health and the mission of the AHA. After years of living with her heart defect, she was told in December of 2019 that she may never have to have open heart surgery.

On January 8, 2019, a few weeks after turning 29, the unthinkable happened. While in Atlanta for work, Heather’s aortic valve erupted causing her to have a massive heart attack. The left side of her heart suffered massive trauma and stopped working all together. To save Heather’s life, a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, was placed in her chest. Little did she know, there was more to her story than she ever could have imagined.

The research funded by the AHA developed the ER protocol, training, medication and medical technology that are the direct reasons why Heather is alive today.

Thank you!

Year after year, passionately committed donors and volunteers like you have moved the mission forward by being a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. You, our supporters, have been the driving force enabling groundbreaking advances in such areas as research, tobacco control, quality & availability of care, chain of survival, obesity prevention, as well as heart disease and stroke prevention. Now, more than ever, the American Heart Association has a sense of urgency to move the mission forward.

Donors have the opportunity to commit to a pre-event donation in honor/memory of anyone that is special to them. All gifts will be recognized at the event and gifts of $5,000 and above will be displayed on our Tribute wall. Please contact Diana Rivas-Smith at 832.878.3282 or email any questions regarding your gift.

Remember your Open Your Heart gift might be eligible for a matching gift from your employer!

Thank you to our 2021 Open Your Heart Donors

Accudraft Paint Booths
Affinity Apparel
All Star Auto Lights
Cindi & Jay Anthony
Dani & Buddy Barrows
Eric Berezin
Mike Bertino
Ron Blumrick
Clint Bryant
Brian Burbridge
Cree Industrial Arts
Sharon Darver
Lisa & Ron Davis
Ashley Denison
Krista & Todd Dillender
Jennifer Divito
Tami & Bob Early
Hami Ebrahimi
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
E-Volve Energy
Field Fastener
Lisa & Ty Gammill
Garmat USA LLC
Global Finishing Solutions LLC
Dave Goldstein
Melissa & Steve Grimshaw
Jackie & Ken Hanley
Samantha Tung & Doyle Henderson
The E.L. Roy and Thelma Herider Foundation
Shawn Hezar
Eddie Hightower
Carol & Matt Holmes
Laura & John Hurley
Sobie & Zee Hussain
Melanie & Eugene Jabbour
Keli & Mike Jenkins
Jillian & Jonathan Kohl
Holly & Paul Krauss
LAM Technology
Ken Lanier
John Levis
LKQ Corporation
Brandon McLain
Malinda & Mitch McMaster
Sandy Nachman
National Coating & Supplies
Eleonore & Greg Nichols
Keith Nichols
Melinda & Judd Nystrom
Jan & Fred Oberlender
John & Sandy O’Brien
OldAcre McDonald, LLC
Overall Parts Solutions
Ashley & Joe O’Rourke
Gina & Jonathan Park
Kerry & Dimitry Philipovitch, D.D.S.
Pro Spot
Pro Star Energy
Tamara & Dan Redington
Tyler Reeves
Jennifer & Mark Sanders
Claudia Schaefer
Julia & Dave Smith
SOLIDUS Equipment Systems
Maximillan Sorensen
Melissa & Tom Springfield
Tonya & Doug Stopke
Amberly & Derrick Stowers
Kelly & Robert Tavarez
Urgently Roadside Assistance
Verifacts Automotive
Victory Real Estate Development
Winstead PC