San Francisco 49ers’ pushup for a cause

On April 24, 2009, the San Francisco 49ers conducted a pushup contest, together with the Stanford University School of Medicine, which aimed to raise funds for the research studies and to find a cure for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is a heart condition which is often asymmetrical, meaning one part of the heart is thicker compared to the others. Although it may not show any symptoms to some, some may experience very abnormal heart rhythms, which eventually causes sudden collapse or even death. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one cause of death that happens to youthful athletes who seem to be in perfect shape but suddenly die during a heavy workout. This heart condition is usually inherited and passed through genes, and is believed to be the effect of some defects on the genes that control heart muscle growth. Dr. Euan Ashley, MD, the director of Stanford Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, told that the said genetic disorder doesn’t have a cure yet, though surgery and medicines can provide some relieve once the symptoms are recognized.

Emceed by the 49ers former linebacker and now their Vice President of Football Affairs Keena Turner, the pushup contest was participated by the cardiologists of the center, showing their strengths against the 49ers Coach Mark Uyeyuma. Michael Lewis, 49ers safety and linebacker Parys Haralson served as the official counters for the pushups. Despite of Uyeyuma’s impressive performance with a total of 84 pushups in a row, he was overpowered by one of the Stanford Cardiologists who totaled 113 pushups.

As the fun continued, the group eventually talked about the purpose of the event – that is, to fight hypertrophic cadiomyopathy.
Michael Lewis enlighten his thoughts about the event- the fundraising and the heart disorder they are fighting to. He shared that he, as well, was diagnosed of a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, and he hopes that through this event, people will be more aware and educated about those heart conditions, and will always strive to live a healthy life, and live their lives normally.

After the event, the 49ers representatives together with the group, headed to the Stanford Medical Center to the Cardiac Care section, and visited the children suffering with heart problems. They also conducted room by room visits to other patients, taking pictures and signing autographs, aspiring to put a smile on their faces, to hopefully uplift their spirits, to help the children fight their own battle against the illness.

As the event ended, the group was able to raised over $10,000, surely a good amount to help the fight against hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.