According to the Nemours’s Pediatric Hospital, 1 in every 120 babies born in the United States each year has a congenital heart malformation making these the most common type of birth defects. With 40,000 babies affected annually, heart defects are 60 times more common in the US than childhood cancers. Central Florida’s Give Kids The World Village reports serving close to 5,000 critically ill children and their families each year, many of which are “heart” kids. One of these children was my cousin, Tyler Schnacky, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Sadly, my cousin passed in 2015, at the age of 15, only a few days after his heart transplant. Formally established in early 2022, my Hope for Heart Kids Community Service Initiative serves these children and their families, provides education about congenital heart defects to our community, and ultimately seeks to help in the advancement of research on congenital heart defects that can extend lives and reduce deaths.
What is “hope”? Hope has many faces. Hope is a friendly smile and an ear to listen. Hope is sharing your time in comfortable silence simply to keep someone company who might otherwise sit alone in a hospital room. Hope is making connections to help improve the circumstance of others in your sphere of influence. Hope is raising funds to lift the heavy financial burden off a family caring for a critically ill child and to support the ongoing research towards a cure. To be all of this and more is what Hope for Heart Kids aspires. Bringing hope to One child at a time. One life at a time. One future at a time.
To educate the Florida community about Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and other birth related heart defects and to collaborate directly with community partners to help advance critical research and to provide solutions for the many needs of this community of children and families via fundraising, donating our time, and providing positive, encouraging interactions.
To serve the diverse needs of families and children in Florida who are impacted by congenital heart defects and to actively support "advancing the science" related to in utero heart defects in order "to reduce deaths" and foster happy, healthy lives for these children.
About our founder
Noelle Schnacky is a 17-year-old high school junior and founder of Hope for Heart Kids! She has a passion for educating her community about congenital heart defects and helping the families and children who have been impacted by these, often life threatening, birth defects. Her Community Service focus is serving Florida's children with these critical illnesses. She collaborates with community partners to raise awareness, in fundraising, donating time, and speaking engagements that educate and encourage her generation to take an active role in being part of the solution. Noelle is blessed to have the opportunity to be a blessing to others in her community.