Mending Hearts in the Silicon Valley

High tech stars enjoyed a glamorous night in the hills above Los Gatos for the American Heart Association’s 2010 Silicon Valley Heart Ball.

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Gabrielle Coleman
The American Heart Association holds a benefit in Silicon Valley to benefit children born with heart defects, like 6-year-old Jillian Sommers.
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Gabrielle Coleman
High tech stars enjoyed a glamorous night in the hills above Los Gatos for the American Heart Association’s 2010 Silicon Valley Heart Ball.
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Gabrielle Coleman
The event raised over $200,000 for basic research, outreach and advocacy for heart health and stroke.
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Yahoo! CEO, Carol Bartz (left) chaired the event. NetApp Chairman of the Board Dan Warmenhoven (right) and his wife, Charmaine, hosted.
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NBC Bay Area anchor, Jessica Aguirre, emceed the event.
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Imaginology
Aguirre said she is rarely able to participate in these events because of family commitments, but was moved to help because of her own mother’s heart crises.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Jillian Sommers was the star of the night. The six year old was born with severe heart defects. She’s survived several surgeries and continues to beat the odds.
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Jillian Sommers poses with her family, who are also survivors of her long medical struggle. In part because of Jillian, her oldest sister, Mikayla, wants to be a doctor. Middle sister, Haley, wants to be a vet, as does Jillian… or a firefighter or teacher.
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Host and former NetApp CEO, Dan Warmenhoven (right) sits with Roman Bowser. Bowser is the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Western States Affiliate of the American Heart Association (AHA.)
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One of the evening’s speakers, Dr. Frederick St. Goar offered some sobering statistics: Heart disease and stroke kill more people than the next seven leading causes of death combined and women are 13 times more likely to die from them than breast cancer.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Dan and Charmaine Warmenhoven welcome guests. According to American Heart Association Vice President, Roman Bowser, the organization had a goal to reduce mortality from heart disease and stroke by 20% from 2000 to 2010 and met that a year and a half early. Says Bowser, “We did well with cholesterol, tobacco and hypertension, but obesity and diabetes are still a big problem.”
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Gabrielle Coleman
Americans are struggling with obesity and sedentary lifestyles. One of the AHA’s goals for 2020 – improve Americans’ cardiovascular health by 20%. Says Bowser (center), “We live in a little golden tower here in California in terms of health and wellness consciousness. People used to see a big regional contrast in tobacco [but that’s improved] and hopefully we’ll see that in other heart healthy practices.” “Even the Paris train station is now smoke free,” adds Dr. Frederick St. Goar.
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Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz chaired the event.
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Corporate sponsors are recognized
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The AHA thinks it’s education that will help us defeat obesity – both nutrition programs for kids and pop culture awareness, from sources like the movie, “Supersize Me.” Dr. Frederick St. Goar also believes that pay-to-play healthcare may be necessary. In that kind of system, people who are obese would pay more for health insurance, much the way many smokers pay higher rates now. “But,” Dr. St. Goar, “in the case of obesity, we need to be careful because genetics sometimes play a role.”
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Gabrielle Coleman
NBC Bay Area anchor Jessica Aguirre with the evening's entertainment, comedian Jackie Flynn, and Silicon Valley AHA Communications Director, Linda Tsai.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Heart defect survivor Jillian Sommers enjoys a wonderfully normal moment with her family.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Legislative advocacy is the biggest growth area in the American Heart Association’s programs. The AHA hopes to get the National Institutes of Health to invest more money in basic heart disease and stroke research.
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Dr. Frederick St. Goar, director of Interventional Cardiology & Clinical Research at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists in Mountain View, was one of the evening's keynote speakers. Dr. St. Gore got much of the funding for his early research from the American Heart Association.
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Krissy and Brandon Berger - Krissy works as a coordinator for the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" program.
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“Heart disease now kills more women than men,” says AHA Western States Vice President, Roman Bowser, “That’s why we’re putting such a big emphasis on raising heart disease awareness among women with programs like ‘Go Red for Women.’”
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Jillian Sommers and her family watch as a video about her is played.
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The Sommers family is recognized for their struggle and their work on behalf of the American Heart Association.
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