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Letter by Claudia Florio Ferrari

European Heart for Children

European Heart for Children is a humanitarian non-profit organisation supported by the ESC.

When my husband was elected President of the ESC I looked up the ESC website to learn more about the Society, and realised that the ESC was one of the most important professional cardiological societies in the world, representing 53 countries. I knew from travelling for my own profession that many of the countries in transition, represented by the ESC, lacked proper programmes for treating children with congenital heart diseases, and I was very surprised that the ESC did not have a project dedicated to this.

So I decided to propose my idea of starting a humanitarian project for children with congenital heart diseases to Jocelyn and Michel Komajda over lunch in a small trattoria on the Apuane Alps, the mountain where the famous marble from Carrara is extracted. They agreed and together we convinced my husband!

This was in May 2008. The idea was then communicated to, and approved by, the ESC Board. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Board members for supporting this initiative. Whilst waiting for a new law to be passed in France, which will regulate the humanitarian initiative, an ESC committee has been put together. The idea was presented to the partners of the Board members just before Christmas and the majority of them were enthusiastic to participate.

Since then we have elaborated a concrete project to be launched at the 2009 ESC Congress in Barcelona. To show that the idea of the “European Heart for Children” is achievable, we have completed our first mission in Syria, and we are planning several more.

I am proud to announce that for this initiative I have received the award “Corazones con eco” which consist of a Gold Medal and, more importantly, one of the latest Eco systems from Siemens.

Finally I am happy with our logo, which is a postcard designed by Alan Fletcher, a world famous graphic designer and a good friend of mine who unfortunately passed away three years ago. I am sure that Alan would have contributed to this initiative with his usual enthusiasm and skill had he been here. I would like to thank Alan’s wife, Paola, and his daughter Raffaella, for allowing us to use the logo.

I hope the European Heart for Children will be a success, but please remember: to be successful we need your strong support!

    Claudia Florio Ferrari