Escondido volunteers are trying to raise $100,000 for the family of a toddler stricken with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and can’t pump blood efficiently.
Emersyn Ochoa, the daughter of Maggie Haynie and Miguel Vizcarra, will be three years old on April 3. Doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego have recommended a life-saving heart transplant for her condition.
“We’re trying to get community outreach,” said Susan Haynie, Maggie’s mother, who is coordinating public relations for the local effort. “So one Zumba teacher called in asking to do something, so the next thing you know seven Zumba teachers joined in” for a fundraiser featuring the dance-exercise workout in Vista.
The Dance Your Heart Out Zumba Master Class Fundraiser takes place at 11 a.m. Feb. 27 at 1410 Foothill Drive in Vista. Minimum donation is $10. There will be drawings and plenty of high-energy Zumba moves taught by seven masters of the athletic dance workout.
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant related expenses, is helping the family to meet their goal. Transplant costs often exceed $500,000, according to COTA.
The organization’s priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds. One hundred percent of all funds raised are used for patients’ transplant-related expenses.
Donations can be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 W. COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN, 47403.
Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Emersyn O” on the memo line of the check. Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforEmersynO.com.