Alyssa Ann Calaway
was a beautiful bright little lady who grew up in Akron, Ohio. She was and still is loved by her parents, family and friends, and easily won the hearts of those who knew her.
On September 12, 2002, Alyssa died very suddenly of what we found out later to be Viral Myocarditis. Other than flu-like symptoms immediately preceding her death, there were no outward signs that would indicate that anything was wrong with Alyssa. She was 8½ years old.
Her death has left us incredibly grief-stricken and heartbroken. There is a place in our hearts that will be empty until we are with her again in Heaven.
We came in contact with Dr. Arruda of the Cleveland Center for Pediatric & Congenital Heart Diseases at Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic. She has helped care for our two remaining children and was so kind to help us understand just what Viral Myocarditis is. Having learned that Viral Myocarditis is a common cause of sudden death in children, we felt we had to do something.
We have organized a hike at Goodyear Heights Metropark in Akron, Ohio where Alyssa frequently hiked with her family, in order to raise money for two purposes:
- The funds from this year's event will be directed towards research for Viral Myocarditis at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital and Dr. Gerard Boyle and Dr. M. Janine Arruda. The hospital has already begun preliminary research on how to define the early symptoms of Viral Myocarditis that patients may have when they go to emergency rooms. This study will pinpoint which signs and symptoms should elicit further testing (X-rays, ECG's and lab tests) so that an early diagnosis of myocarditis can be made. The Children's Hospital plans to partner with other area hospitals for this study as well, which will help raise physician awareness to the warning signs of myocarditis.
- A fund dedicated to sending grade school children to Camp Carl - a place Alyssa never got to visit herself, but wanted to.
Thank you for your interest in supporting this very important cause and for positively impacting the lives of children and their families.
Sarah & Steve Calaway
Alyssa's Mom and Dad