Spending 15 minutes in the K-State Alumni Center this Sunday could add 50 years to your life.
Free cardiac screenings will be provided by The Anthony Bates Foundation, a non-profit charity, 1-5 p.m.
“The screenings are free and easy, so everyone who is available should participate,” Travis Torres, junior in construction science, said. “The time is worth the potential benefit.”
Anthony Bates, the foundation’s namesake, was a 20-year-old student and football player at K-State in July 2000. Although seemingly healthy, Anthony collapsed while driving home from an off-season workout and died of a heart attack, according to www.anthonybates.org.
Doctors determined that Anthony suffered from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic heart disease that causes thickening of the heart, which usually forms during the teenage years. Although the disease is genetic, the Bates family has no history of HCM.
Experts in the cardiac field estimate that one in 500 young adults suffer unknowingly from HCM. The only way to detect HCM is through an echocardiogram, a sonogram picture of the heart.
Although the foundation was started from tragedy, its focus continues to be early detection to extend life.
“I needed to heal,” said Sharon Bates, Anthony’s mother and founder of the foundation. “His death was a very unfair thing for a parent to go through, and I want to stop it from happening to others.”
The foundation has provided screening for more than 3,500 people since its inception in October 2001, according to the Web site. Of the people screened, nearly 10 percent are found to have some level of heart problem.
“In our country, nearly 14,000 young people lose their lives each year to heart problems, 26 percent of them having HCM,” Bates said. “It is preventable, and if we can save just one life, it is worth it.”
Sharon Bates and the foundation estimate they have saved nearly 300 lives in five years of screening. At K-State, the screenings have been embraced not only by the community, but also by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“I would have to say that Bill Snyder was my biggest influence to start this foundation,” Sharon Bates said. “At the time we spoke, I was still grieving, and not to say that the grieving ever ends, but he helped me to see the big picture. If it wasn’t for his friendship and dedication to the cause, there’s no telling if we would even be coming to K-State on Sunday.”
The athletics department will have a private screening for its athletes at noon on Sunday. K-State has defibrillators at Vanier Football Complex and at practices, as well as various locations on campus. Campus security personnel also carry the defibrillators in their vehicles.
Each screening is expected to take five to 15 minutes, and the entire process should not require more than 30 minutes. Although walk-in screenings are available, the foundation encourages pre-registering for a time slot at www.anthonybates.org.