Breanna Vergara Foundation Honors Young Dancer's Legacy While Creating Awareness of Pediatric Heart Health

Over 2,000 in Attendance Support Non-Profit's Efforts to Raise Funds for New Cardiac Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital

The Breanna Vergara Foundation welcomed over 2,000 supporters on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at Miami Lakes Picnic Park West for an inaugural 5K and Color Run (#BVF5K) in celebration of Breanna Vergara, an eleven-year old girl who passed away one year ago from sudden cardiac arrest due to an unknown, asymptomatic heart condition. Family, friends, neighbors and even complete strangers who were touched by this story attended the event, which raised awareness of the importance of heart screenings in children.

A family fun-filled day began early at sunrise, when recording artist Teenear sang the National Anthem to signal the beginning of the timed 5K race. Joined by emcee Larry “The Amigo” Milian and radio station 100.7 FM Y-100’s Mack on the Radio, Billy the Marlin (official mascot of the Miami Marlins) kicked off the One-Mile Color Run. During a post-race awards ceremony, the donation of a life-saving automated external defibrillator (AED) was presented to Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church and School. Mayor Michael Pizzi and members of the Town Council presented a proclamation officially establishing December 9th as Breanna Vergara Day in Miami Lakes. The Breanna Vergara Foundation announced its new partnership with the Cardiac Team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. In support of this new initiative, Jesus and Claudia Vergara (Breanna’s parents and founders of the foundation) presented Harold Robaina (Miami Children’s Health Foundation) with a check totaling $25,000 for the funding of a unique program named “EKG 4 Bre Summer Series,” which will provide free EKG screening events in the community.

"Matthew came up to me and said 'thank you for saving my life'," said Jesus Vergara, Breanna's dad. "I was speechless and burst into tears. I just picked him up and hugged him. That's what The Breanna Vergara Foundation is all about: saving lives."

Jesus Vergara, Brian's dad and co-founder of The Breanna Vergara Foundation

During the event, a special moment was shared between 6-year old Matthew Fernandez and Breanna’s father, Jesus. Thanks to the foundation’s mission of creating awareness of pediatric heart screenings, Matthew recently had an EKG done. The results came back abnormal and he underwent surgery. Fully-recuperated, Matthew attended the event in honor of Breanna. “Matthew came up to me and said ‘thank you for saving my life’,” said Jesus Vergara, Breanna’s dad. “I was speechless and burst into tears. I just picked him up and hugged him. That’s what The Breanna Vergara Foundation is all about: saving lives.”

Event Photographs Courtesy of JCE Photography: 

About The Breanna Vergara Foundation

Jesus and Claudia Vergara established The Breanna Vergara Foundation after the unexpected death of their 11-year-old daughter, Bre-Bre, a healthy middle school student and avid dancer who collapsed during dance practice due to an undiagnosed congenital heart defect that caused sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The foundation’s missions are to offer sponsorships for children to participate in extracurricular activities, to create awareness of the importance of pediatric heart health, to make electrocardiograms (EKGs) readily available to all children, to provide life-saving Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to all places where children are active in play and sports, and to contribute to Nicklaus Children's Hospital for the funding of a mobile electrocardiogram (EKG)  program.