This post was written by me through an activation with HireInfluence on behalf of BIOLIFE4D. Although I received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My mom's dad died of a heart attack when she was just 18 years old. The loss of this man has affected all the generations in our family. We will never know how things could have been different, but we're certain that things would have been far better with him around. Mending a broken heart that is suffering loss is a feat only time can even begin to repair. But, mending a broken heart in the physical sense is something science is getting really close to achieving.
Mending a Broken Heart
My mom and I were just talking about how different life could have been for us had her dad survived his battle with heart disease. It wasn't just his heart that failed that day. Hearts all around him shattered with an unthinkable loss. This man was kind, a hero, and although she didn't know it back then, my mom's only cheerleader.
After he died, she was alone. Her mom picked up and moved out of state, leaving her to fend for herself at eighteen. That may be the “legal” age of an adult, but how many of us are actually adulting by then? I sure wasn't.
She did the best she could, but without any substantial support only reached a fraction of her potential. She is now sixty-one, and that's still the case. After dissecting and discussing her life in detail, she can pinpoint where it all fell apart–and it's her dad's death at the epicenter.
In this case, time didn't heal her broken heart. It scabbed, maybe scarred, but nothing can replace what she lost. It permanently changed her–and me. I can't even begin to imagine how different my life would be if my mom would have been celebrated, accomplished, and able to unleash all her talents.
What if there were a way to save, prevent, and mend broken hearts?
One in three women and one in four men die from heart disease each year. There are only 5,000 heart transplants performed GLOBALLY each year and over 600,000 patients waiting and hoping they find a match in the US alone. With numbers of this magnitude, it's safe to say we've all been affected by heart disease.
I am beyond excited to share something incredibly fascinating and innovative. BioLife4D is developing medical technology to build a heart from the patient's own genetic material. Their goal is to print a viable human heart suitable for transplant–the technology would help eliminate waiting for donor organs, eliminate challenges of organ rejection, and increase the lifespan of more patients–giving more families time with their loved ones and a greater chance at surviving and thriving with a heart condition.
Having studied biology, anatomy, and physiology in college, I find this to be mind-bogglingly incredible, but also quite logical. The more scientific advances we make, it's not that far-fetched that this feat is possible in the relatively near future.
To understand the process in more detail, please watch this video that illustrates how a 3D printer uses human cells to build a heart:
What Can We Do?
BioLife4D needs investors to support their research. That might sound like they're looking for millionaires to fund their studies, but that's not the case. You don't have to have a seven-figure net worth to help. The company's stock is available to the public, allowing people even like me–a single mom on a tight budget–to invest in the future of saving hearts. BioLife4D is having an equity crowdfunding campaign in February, where the general public can purchase shares in the company and join their mission to save millions of lives.
I'm all for technology saving lives. Time is precious and if we can give a little–or a lot–more to the ones we love, then take my money. If I could have had the chance to know my grandpa and benefit from his influence if even just through my mom, life would be so much easier. He was a feminist at a time when men didn't even know how to scratch the surface of what that word meant. He was strong mentally and emotionally, but his heart couldn't keep up with his spirit. It's these kind of people this world needs in bountiful proportions. So, let's fill the world with hearts–3D printed or otherwise.
Act of Heart Campaign
In an effort to share BioLife4D's research, and uplift the struggling hearts out there, I'll be sending a card to a stranger in a hospital. This simple “Random Act of Heart” takes very little effort but has a powerful positive impact on the people who need it most. Whether it's a handmade card like ours or just a sweet message of support–so long as it's from your heart, the positive energy will flow.
Please join me on this mission and send a card to a stranger, and then tag five friends to do the same. Use #BL4DActsofHeart on your social channels to spread the news about BioLife's amazing goals and give hope to the future.
Letters can be mailed to:
Texas Children's Hospital
ATTN: Volunteer Services
6621 Fannin Street, Suite A1125
Houston, TX 77030
To invest, visit BioLife online.
Rainbow Crumbs for You
Weekly newsletter with our latest posts and shenanigans.