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Children’s HeartLink Announces Olympian Shaun White as Special Guest at October Event

Published August 17, 2022

Shaun White
Shaun White, five-time Olympian and congenital heart disease survivor.

Children’s HeartLink announces Shaun White, 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist and congenital heart disease survivor, as the 2022 Global Gathering special guest. The Global Gathering event on October 14, 2022 is Children’s HeartLink’s signature fundraising event. It brings together individuals, corporations and health care leaders who are making a difference in pediatric cardiac care in underserved parts of the world. It’s free to register and attend virtually and there are limited tickets available for purchase to attend in person.

“My life would be completely different had I not had access to heart care when I was diagnosed with my heart defect at birth. So many children today in underserved parts of the world don’t have access to the same level of care that I did. I’m honored to join Children’s HeartLink at the Global Gathering to bring greater awareness to the need for pediatric cardiac care to be available for all children born with a congenital heart disease,” said Shaun White, 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist and congenital heart disease survivor.

Worldwide, one in 100 children is born with congenital heart disease. Nearly 1 in 4 babies born with a heart defect require heart surgery in their first year of life. For Shaun and others born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare and complex heart defect which is a combination of four heart defects, corrective heart surgery is necessary for survival. Yet, for many children living in low- and middle-income countries adequate heart care isn’t available—leading to a low quality of life or even death.

Global Gathering Banner

Every 5 minutes 10 children are born with a heart defect, only one in ten has access to the care they need and deserve.

“Shaun White is an inspiration to so many children living with congenital heart disease and we’re honored to have him at our signature fundraising event.” Jackie Boucher, President of Children’s HeartLink continued, “Like all children born with a heart disease he didn’t choose the disease, but he is choosing to share his personal experience with heart disease to bring awareness to today’s existing heart health inequities. Shaun has shown us that extraordinary things are possible when children born with a heart defect have access to quality heart care.”

Children’s HeartLink is working to change today’s heart health inequities through training-based partnerships in underserved countries. The global nonprofit partners medical volunteer teams from top teaching and research institutions with hospitals in low- and middle-income countries to grow and develop high-quality, team-based pediatric cardiac care programs.

Vietnam National Children’s Hospital
Vietnam National Children’s Hospital

Throughout the multi-year partnerships, teams are trained and empowered to care for children with congenital heart disease through consistently delivering high-quality and complex care. Once achieved, the hospital becomes a Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence—a center that is committed to training their peers in low-resourced environments in pediatric cardiac. This sustainable model is how Children’s HeartLink plans to reach one million more children by 2030.

The Global Gathering hybrid event on Friday, October 14 celebrates the progress being made to ensure all children have access to high-quality heart care. It’s free to register and attend virtually and there are limited tickets available for purchase to attend in person. The event is Children’s HeartLink’s signature fundraising event which raises funds to support training and mentoring of health care professionals in undeserved parts of the world.

About Shaun White
Shaun White is an American athlete who is regarded as one of the greatest action sports athletes of all time. A five-time Olympian, White won gold medals in the half-pipe event in 2006, 2010, and 2018. He is one of the most decorated athletes in X Games history, becoming the first athlete to compete in both the Winter and Summer games and has won 15 gold medals, an all-time X Games record. White announced his retirement from the sport of snowboarding prior to competing in the 2022 Beijing Winter games, his fifth and final Olympics. Born in San Diego, California, Shaun turned professional at the age of 13. At 7, White signed his first sponsorship deal with Burton Snowboards. His current and past endorsement deals include or have included Burton, Oakley, Target, Red Bull, Hewlett-Packard, American Express, CELSIUS, Masters App, KRAVE Jerky, Ralph Lauren and OMEGA. White has been named among Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 100 Most Powerful and Marketable Athletes, Forbes’ Most Valuable Sports Brands and 30 Under 30, among others. He has won 11 ESPY Awards throughout his career. White has helmed the Air + Style festival of music and snowboarding since 2014, when he took ownership and moved it from Austria to Los Angeles. Born with a Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect for which he required two open-heart operations before the age of one, White is an advocate for children battling illness and is an active supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Make-A-Wish Foundation. In January 2022, White announced the launch of his own active lifestyle brand, Whitespace. The company celebrated the launch with 50 limited edition signed snowboards, which sold out in minutes. Snowboards and a line of outerwear, snowboard hard-goods, athletic equipment and streetwear apparel will be released October 2022.

About Children’s HeartLink
Children’s HeartLink saves children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the year. The global nonprofit organization (NGO), partners medical volunteers from top teaching and research institutions with doctors, nurses and health care professionals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam to develop or improve pediatric cardiac care programs. Since 1969, the organization has reached more than 1.5 million children.

About Children’s HeartLink Global Gathering
The Global Gathering is the Children’s HeartLink signature hybrid fundraising event. People from around the world gather to celebrate the heart of the Children’s HeartLink mission – saving children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world.