The Heart of Racing team is focused on two things – winning races and raising money for kids at Seattle Children’s. They race, and win, for children who need complex cardiac care. And their checkered flag won’t wave until they’ve helped to fix every little heart that needs mending. To date, they’ve raised more than $5 million for Seattle Children’s Heart Center, and helped to fund a new state-of-the art cardiac catheterization laboratory at Seattle Children’s which opened earlier this year.
“When you put the right people together, there’s nothing you can’t do,” said Don Kitch, who founded the Team Seattle Guild at Seattle Children’s and The Heart of Racing Team. “There’s nothing like Seattle Children’s Cath Lab in the world, and we made it happen with a race car! It’s absolutely incredible to think about. We’re giving kids the chance for a happy, healthy life.”
Dr. Thomas Jones, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Seattle Children’s Hospital, added: “I can’t imagine a better group of people to partner with to deliver state of the art cardiac care to the children of our region than The Heart of Racing. Year after year they have delivered on their promise to give kids the best chance possible to win the most important race of all, a healthy and long life. Through their generosity The Heart of Racing has made it possible to create one of the finest pediatric cardiac catheterization centers in the world right in our own backyard. Just like in racing, bringing together the right equipment and the right team can make miracles happen.”
Racing for kids with heart conditions
Ask Parker Rana, 15, what he thinks about The Heart of Racing Team, and he’ll tell you that they’re more than just a team of talented racecar drivers and philanthropists; they’re family. Since meeting the team while he was awaiting a heart transplant at Seattle Children’s, he’s been one of their biggest fans. And it’s fair to say he’s captured the team’s hearts as well. When asked to tag along to their next race, The Monterey Grand Prix on May 2-3, Parker couldn’t say no. He’ll be flying down to support his favorite team as they race for the podium in Monterey, Calif.
“When you bring up The Heart of Racing, Parker glows with pride,” said Jaydine Rana, Parker’s mother. “We’re such huge supporters of them. We can’t wait for the next race.”
Read about Parker’s journey from heart transplant to race track here.