Tina Charles (USA)
FIBA Family
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Charles thrilled with 'Hopey's Heart' expansion

ISTANBUL - USA national team star Tina Charles is thrilled to have delivered the expansion of her charity 'Hopey's Heart Foundation'.

Currently playing with Istanbul giants Fenerbahce, the center has overseen her charity put down its first roots in Europe.

Formed in commemoration of her aunt Maureen 'Hopey' Vaz, who died due to heart failure and also after the death of high school player Wes Leonard - who may have been saved had there been an on-site automated external defibrillator (AED) - Charles formed her charity to tackle the impact of athletes falling victim to sudden cardiac arrest.

While her Foundation has spent the bulk of its resources providing AEDs in her homeland, there has been a major breakthrough in terms of persuading clubs in Europe to take them on board.

A pair of EuroCup clubs, Hapoel Jerusalem of Israel and BC Lietuvos Rytas of Lithuania have both recently taken delivery of AEDs.

"Basketball along with other sports has gained the attention of many around the world and it's imperative that as athletes, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) becomes a topic that everyone is aware of," stated Charles.

"Having an automated defibrillator is very vital when sudden cardiac arrest occurs as it is indiscriminate towards race, age and gender.

Hopey's Heart Foundation's mission is to have every gym, recreation centre and other organisations equipped with an AED. - Charles

"To date we have placed 131 AEDs in the United States and now these two in Europe.

"There are many organisations that cannot afford this life-saving device, but having an AED Grant Programme has been able to make a difference in such places.

"In addition to helping to provide these devices, I want to continue to raise awareness around the need," continued Charles.

"I would like to thank Fenerbahce Men's Basketball General Manager Maurizio Gherardini for making the connection to each team.

"Also, the AED manufacturer, Heartsine as each team received a Heartsine AED Model."

You can find out more about Hopey's Heart Foundation by clicking here.