fbpx ‘Ava’s Heart’ Stresses Magnitude of Life-Saving Organ Transplants - Hey SoCal. Change is our intention.
The Votes Are In!
2023 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
View Winners →
Vote for your favorite business!
2023 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
Start voting →
Subscribeto our newsletter to stay informed
  • Enter your phone number to be notified if you win
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / ‘Ava’s Heart’ Stresses Magnitude of Life-Saving Organ Transplants

‘Ava’s Heart’ Stresses Magnitude of Life-Saving Organ Transplants

by Terry Miller
share with

Ava Kaufman with 13-year-old Esmeralda who had her second heart transplant. First one was when she was 11 months old. - Courtesy Photo

Ava Kaufman with 13-year-old Esmeralda who had her second heart transplant. First one was when she was 11 months old. – Courtesy Photo


Ava Kaufman was healthy, vibrant, and full of life one day; the next, she was going to die unless she received a new heart.
Now a successful heart transplant recipient and leading transplant advocate, Ava is the founder of Ava’s Heart, the only non-profit in the United States that provides extensive support for transplant patients and their families pre-and-post life-saving organ transplants.
Also an ambassador of the Donate Life organization, Ava often speaks to captivated audiences about her powerful story and the need to raise awareness about the not-often-talked-about aspects of organ transplant.
Most recently, Ava had the honor of representing Donate Life and Ava’s Heart at a Glendale city council meeting during which Mayor Zareh Sinanyan proclaimed April to be “DMV/Donate Life California Month.” While there, Ava shared some details of how it happened to her – and how it can happen to anyone.
“Every 10 minutes another person’s name is added to the national organ donor transplant list. At any moment, you or someone you love can be in need of a life-saving organ,” said Ava, who is committed to turning her four-year-old Los Angeles based non-profit into the go-to organization for transplant patients. “The concept of transplant is foreign to most people. And when recognized, people tend to think of transplant as something for old people, but there are alarming numbers of babies and children in need of organ transplants.”
In fact, a significant percentage of whom Ava’s Heart helps is babies and children. Giving candidates, recipients and their families support and care from the beginning to the end of their transplant journey, Ava’s Heart assists with everything non-medical including financing and facilitation of temporary, but mandatory, housing pre- and post-transplant near the transplant center, ensuring recipients have the means to afford their medication, groceries and gas to travel to and from doctor’s appointments, dental assistance, hearing aids, baby strollers, car seats and more as well as a hearty dose of invaluable emotional support, guidance, understanding and compassion.
Through its partnership with Change A Life Foundation, Ava’s Heart granted families $110,000 in 2014 and has already helped eight families this year.
“There are an overwhelming number of people who find themselves in need of an organ transplant and die because they are not able to find available resources. It’s heartbreaking,” continued Ava, who was fortunate to receive the heart of a 17-year-old boy. “While we are blessed to be able to help those we can, there are countless more people that Ava’s Heart is not able to assist due to lack of funding. I know what a gift it is to be given a second chance at life and accept the responsibility that comes with it. Ava’s Heart was born from my determination to live for my daughter and commitment to ease some of the burden of others facing similar situations in the little known world of transplant recipients. The more funding we receive, the more lives we will be able to help save.”
More information can be found at www.AvasHeart.org.

More from News

Skip to content