HUBER HEIGHTS — Sudden Cardiac Death is the result of unsuspecting cardiovascular disease causing the heart to stop without warning signs or symptoms.
On Aug. 20, 2014, Jason Bitsko, a 2011 Wayne High School graduate and starting center for Kent State University’s football team, passed away in his sleep from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Since then, his mother Pam, vowed to spread awareness of the importance of heart screenings, especially for young athletes.
Last spring, Pam learned that the mCORE Foundation located in Columbus, aims to increase awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death and detect cardiac risks before it’s too late. They are a mobile unit of licensed professionals that provide heart screenings conducting both echocardiograms and EKG’s at a low cost. Their foundation will not turn away any athlete even if they are unable to afford the screening.
On July 28, mCORE came to Wayne High School and screened 28 athletes. Huber Heights City Schools Superintendent Sue Gunnell, Wayne Athletic Director Jay Minton, and the Huber Heights City Schools Board of Education have understood the importance of heart screening for local youth and mCORE will be conducting future screenings again at Wayne and other surrounding schools.
Last year, the class of 2011 with the help of Mrs. Jessica Livesay, Wayne High School’s Student Council Advisor, raised $1000 in fundraising efforts in honor of Jason Bitsko. They raised the money through the t-shirt sales last year as Cami Yount and Andre Cokes were instrumental in that effort.
Pam Bitsko and her two- year-old grandson, Bryson, attended the Wayne football game Friday night and donated those funds to mCORE to help pay for heart screenings for athletes who cannot afford it. Liz Awbrey-Belcher, representing the mCORE Foundation, accepted the donation.