For Elysa Virtual Gala 2020
The For Elysa Foundation began in 2013 to honor 2-year-old Elysa Rojas, whose life was cut far too short by a missed diagnosis of myocarditis. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that is frequently caused by common viruses and can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
Your investment will help save the lives of children like Elysa. With your support, we can improve the diagnosis & treatment of myocarditis through cutting-edge research projects, including:
- Complete whole genome sequencing of families like Elysa’s that have multiple members diagnosed with myocarditis; this promising research has dramatic implications for diagnosis & treatment (Mayo Clinic)
- Identifying the mitochondrial disease signature of myocarditis for diagnosis, prognosis and regenerative medicine (Mayo)
- Identifying blood-circulating biomarkers for efficient, lower-risk diagnosis of myocarditis (University of Colorado & UCLA)
About The For Elysa Foundation
Elysa Louise Rojas is a vibrant little girl who was taken from our lives far too soon. Our healthy, engaging toddler had been ill for about 24 hours when she suddenly took a turn for the worse. We called for an ambulance, and with some insistence were transported to the ER then admitted to the pediatric ICU. Less than nine hours into medical intervention, Elysa was given medication to help her rest. As soon as the medication entered her body, her heart essentially stopped. Unknown to her medical team, Elysa’s heart had been attacked by a common virus. We learned from her autopsy that she had died of viral myocarditis.
Healthcare providers had never considered Elysa’s heart to be a cause for her illness and were shocked when her heart suddenly stopped functioning.
Her family was left heartbroken and wondering how this could happen to such a bright and healthy little girl.
This foundation is dedicated to improving Education, providing Light and promoting Research to help physicians and families prevent another tragic death like Elysa’s.
The 3 basic tenets of our organization are derived from Elysa's initials:
Education: improving education of healthcare providers and the community about Viral Myocarditis and other causes of pediatric sudden cardiac arrest
Light: providing light and hope to other children and families affected by pediatric cardiac conditions
Research: promoting and funding research in the field of Viral Myocarditis and enhancing diagnosis and treatment of myocarditis and related cardiac conditions