Anthony Bates was 20 years old when he died from undiagnosed Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, HCM. Anthony, an only child, was an honor student, an Eagle Scout, and a Division I college football player at Kansas State University. Anthony starting playing football when he was nine years old. He played other sports throughout his youth including baseball, soccer, wrestling, but football was his true love.
Each year he was required to have a "pre-participation sports physical." Heart examinations were not part of this annual process. Anthony's HCM might have been detected when he had an EKG in conjunction with surgery on his finger, but there was no detection of his heart problem then either. Though EKGs are required in surgery, 10% of people with HCM have normal EKGs. Apparently, Anthony must have been in that 10%. Young, strong, and a dedicated athlete, Anthony never complained of any symptoms. Sadly, his perfect health was an illusion.
Sharon Bates was a single parent for most of Anthony's life and their relationship was exceptionally close. In any case, the death of a child is a tragedy. The only thing making it more tragic is when it could be prevented through early detection. Within one year of Anthony's death from undiagnosed HCM, Sharon began volunteering with the HCMA, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association.
Since Anthony's death, Sharon began promoting heart health and education through the HCMA with fundraisers and events. She held golf tournaments, solicited donations from various organizations, and found other creative ways to raise funds. By 2002, the need to launch a foundation in her son's name was necessary in our country. Hence, the birth of the Anthony Bates Foundation and the cardiac screening programs nationwide.
After learning how to successfully produce a community heart screening event, Sharon has demonstrated heart health through the FREE Cardiac Screening Events in communities of Kansas, Arizona, Nevada, California, Washington, Colorado, and New York. The target has been students, athletes, and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 years old. As of February 2021, Sharon completed one-hundred six (106) large school heart screening events (echocardiogram and ECG testing) and provided over 15,175 echocardiogram and ECG tests for young people. The most recent, February 1, 2020, at Cienga High School in Vail, AZ. Then COVID hit and we have been shut out of Arizona schools. We are hopeful the schools will open to us in the fall of 2021!
Community screenings are a necessity for every community that has student-athletes and access to medical professionals. The costs of putting together a FREE and Low-Cost Cardiac Screening vary depending on the size of the event. The smaller the event, the costlier the ratio per "participant." For an event as large as 1,000 student-athletes/young adults the cost could be as low as $25 - $50 per person. When the event is half the size, 500 student-athletes/young adults or below, the costs jump to a range of $50-$100 per person.
The efforts of the Anthony Bates Foundation can be multiplied by the involvement of communities nationwide. An ABF Community Screening Training Program is available on the website for compassionate people willing to sacrifice some time to save young lives from undetected heart ailments. Sharon Bates is offering her consulting and training services to help assist communities nationally. She will speak to groups about the impact of such events and provide a great resource to make your efforts successful young lives will be saved!
We appreciate your generous support in helping us "screen young hearts &save young lives!" Every bid counts!