Thursday, June 27, 2013

Join us for Hearts in July!

Watch our commercial.
Join Broken Hearts of Florida for Hearts in July -- a fun-filled fundraising event for the whole family! The evening includes dinner, a silent auction, supervised kids’ activities, and music and dancing. We’ll also have some special guests!

The public is welcome! Meet some amazing families and heart heroes, learn more about what Broken Hearts of Florida is doing in your community, and have a great time! 

Tickets are $12 per person. All proceeds go toward launching Broken Hearts of Florida’s new “Home-Away-From-Home Program,” helping families stay with their children while they’re hospitalized for heart-related reasons. 

The event will be held Friday, July 26, 2013, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Sittig Hall in Kleman Plaza at 301 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL.

We are also looking for event sponsors and items for our silent auction. 

About Us and Our Home-Away-From-Home Program

Over the past year, we’ve been providing financial assistance to Big Bend-area heart families in need when they’ve had to travel to Gainesville for routine appointments, open-heart surgeries, or other congenital-heart-related procedures at UF Health Shands Hospital for Children and the UF Health Congenital Heart Center, the only medical facility in our region that provides this highly specialized care. The families’ biggest needs have been with overnight and extended-stay accommodations.

Our new Home-Away-From-Home Program will provide lodging assistance to Big Bend-area families in need. While there are free or low-cost lodging options available in Gainesville, such as the Ronald McDonald House, they are often at capacity, leaving families to find other, often more expensive accommodations. 

For many families, this is an expense they simply can’t afford, and so they find themselves sleeping in the hospital’s lobbies or in their cars. These parents are under enough stress without the compounded strain of wondering where they will stay while they’re away from home.

Founded in 2006, BHF is a nonprofit, charitable organization that supports, educates and connects families affected by congenital heart defects and other pediatric heart diseases. We have chapters based in Tallahassee, Gainesville and Panama City that serve those cities and surrounding counties. 

We started as a small group of three families and today, we are 250 families strong. Our services have expanded with our growth and are designed to help families navigate the lifelong journey of living with congenital heart defects and pediatric heart disease. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Meet & Greet Lunch with Nels Matson

Meet Nels Matson!

Join us for lunch with Nels Matson, who is running 1,200 miles in 35 days from Bradenton, FL, to the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Washington, D.C. 

Broken Hearts of Florida will host lunch for Nels and Diplo on Sunday, June 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Chili's at 3530 S.W. Archer Road, Gainesville. RSVP for lunch through our Facebook event page, or email us at and let us know you are attending the lunch and how many will be with you. 

If you or your child has a congenital heart defect, come out and sign Diplo, the Diplomatic Penguin, who is riding on Nels’ back. You’ll also have a chance to meet Nels’ Gainesville Heart Diplomat, Sage Pridemore, a local CHD survivor.
Nels, Denise and Diplo at Broken Hearts' May Day Picnic. 

There are about 100,000 children in Cambodia who have congenital heart disease; very few are treated. Nels is running to fund heart surgeries for these children through Hearts Without Boundaries. Nels was saved by an open-heart surgery when he was a toddler, and wants to give these children the same opportunity at life he was given!

Nels’ journey began June 15 in Bradenton. Diplo the penguin will be given as a gift and symbol of support to the children receiving the heart surgeries in Cambodia.

For more information about Tri4Number1 Run, visit