Brandon Goyne, a baseball player at LSU Alexandria, passed away from ARVD – Arhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia in January of 2013. This is a condition where his heart developed scar tissue instead of strengthening muscle. His condition went undetected by regular mandated physicals, and he had no symptoms prior to succumbing to his heart defect after collapsing on the baseball field. Brandon’s family is now seeking for EKG/ECG testing to be required in physicals by all school districts and colleges. Had this been the case for Brandon, his condition would have been brought to light far before it was too late.
Last spring I was afforded the opportunity to volunteer for the Brandon Goyne Foundation.I was not fortunate enough to know Brandon Goyne personally while he was here with us, but in the short time I have spent with the foundation, his family, and friends I am nothing short of impressed by the young man that he was. As a former student athlete, I am a huge fan of the cause they champion. Like many other kids where I grew up, I began my ‘sports career’ at the young age of four dabbling in the arts of dance and adventuring in the outfields of t-ball. My t-ball days were short lived, but dance was a large part of my life for the next ten years. At eleven, I picked up basketball with my hometown’s recreational sport’s program. My love for sports quickly escalated from that time forward. From middle school to high school I played volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis, and track. My junior and senior years my parents and coaches were gracious enough to let me pursue all five of these sports. I went through each required physical and continued pursuing my passion for sports. Brandon has 7 physicals in the 9 years before he passed – 3 before college, 4 during college.
It wasn’t until my senior year that I had my first EKG, and it wasn’t during one of my regular mandated physcials. At 17 years old I collapsed in practice. I quickly regained consciousness and found my coaches surrounding me with looks of alarm on their faces. It was not until thirteen years into my athletic career and after having collapsed, that anyone even considered that my seemingly healthy athlete’s body might not be that healthy after all. Luckily, after consults and testing, doctor’s determined I did in fact have a healthy heart. Tragically, this is not the case for every athlete though. How many stories do we see in the news of student athletes collapsing in practice or during games? I can even recall stories of professional athletes that have succumbed to undetected heart abnormalities or defects. I think often the question is “Why test a healthy athlete?” rather than saying “Let’s do all we can to make sure this athlete is healthy.” The Brandon Goyne Foundation works to make that difference to make sure all athletes’ heart health is made a priority.
This month, Daniel Stark is helping to gain awareness for the Brandon Goyne Foundation. As the school year starts, so do many different sports. We must get the word out about the importance of requiring EKG/ECG testing during physicals so that we know we are asking and answering the right question – is this athlete’s heart health?
Daniel Stark will be donating to the Brandon Goyne Foundation for our Charity of the Month in September. Like our Page and we will donate $1 for each new like during the month of September. For more information on the Brandon Goyne Foundation, please visit there website here: http://www.thebrandongoynefoundation.com