NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Athletes stepped up to the plate at a homerun derby Monday to safeguard young hearts.
Mack Hale, a 17-year-old Northampton senior organized today’s event for the Chad Foundation.
The organization provides free preventative heart screenings to young athletes and students.
Hale’s own heart defect was discovered at one of the Chad Foundation’s free screenings last year.
He is now sponsoring the derby to help raise money for the foundation that helped him.
“I’m pretty much doing this to give back to the organization because I’m really fortunate that I found out. So many athletes don’t,” says Hale.
The Centers for Disease Control says 5,000 young people between 15 and 34 years old die every year of sudden cardiac death.
The Chad Foundation was founded in honor of Chad Butrum, who died of an unkown heart defect on the football field in California.