At the age of 12, Colby Salerno was diagnosed with a rare heart disease called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It is found in .02% of the population and causes the heart wall to grow too thick. Colby had to quit playing all competitive sports including soccer, which he had been playing for three competitive teams at the time. Shortly after his diagnosis, a defibrillator was put in his chest and he remained stable for 10 years. During this time, Colby received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Saint Michael’s College and he plans to pursue medical school in hopes of becoming a cardiologist and helping others that have been plagued with his diagnosis.
Last summer Colby began struggling with shortness of breath and fatigue. In August od 2011, Colby and his family were informed that of the .02% of the population that have his disease, 5% have a rare form of the disease that accelerates it’s progression. Colby’s heart is turning into scar tissue and he is now in heart failure. The only thing that can be done to save him is a heart transplant. Colby was officially put on the heart transplant list on 09/23/10. His health is stable for now, but he will continue to get sicker and sicker until he can no longer live outside of a hospital. As Colby’s disease progresses, he and his family will have to travel to Boston (where his transplant team is) more and more for tests, procedures, and treatment. He will also require more direct care from his family.
We are asking for your help through donations that will be used toward medical bills, living expenses when the family has to travel to Boston, and the other various expenses that the family will face during this long and trying journey. You can make a donation in Colby’s honor to the Hope For Hearts Foundation by clicking on DONATE above, or you can send a donation directly to the Salerno family at:
Colby Heart Transplant Fund
P.O. Box 225
Cheshire, CT 06410-0225
UPDATE: After more than 5 months living in the hospital, Colby received his new heart on May 29, 2012 and is recovering well at home. We wish Colby and his entire family the best on the long and still costly road to recovery. Medical bills and treatment will continue to present challenges for the family, as they do for most people undergoing a heart transplant, and we look forward to continuing to support Colby on his inspirational journey to full health.
You can read more about Colby and support him more directly through his “Tales From the 10th Floor” blog and his Facebook page “Have A Heart For Colby.”