The Tragic Death of Young Girl Inspired a Rock Concert Fundraiser

Aaleigha’s Friends and Family Respond to Death with Action

Ashley and Amber Young, sisters from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, lost their 13 year old sister, Aaleigha, suddenly and tragically to myocarditis in March of 2009.

The girls and their college friends, one an early childhood myocarditis survivor, turned their grief into action and organized a Rock Concert fundraiser. The girls invited their friends, advertised with posters, gathered corporate sponsorships, sold tee shirts and wristbands, and convinced the local arena to donate the space and local high school bands to play for free!

What an event; with nearly 200 in attendance, the room was electric with energy!

Cherie Young (mother), grieving for her daughter yet so proud of her family’s and friends’ efforts, took in the love and support of the community who turned out to show how much they cared. The concert was a huge success and proceeds were used to create a scholarship in Aaleigha’s memory at her middle school and fund myocarditis medical research through the Myocarditis Foundation’s research grants program.

Aaleigha was participating in a track and field event during gym class at her school when she collapsed while running the final leg of a relay. Though resuscitation efforts were initiated immediately, she died at a hospice several weeks later, having never regained consciousness. Initially, the doctors were not sure of the diagnosis, but a heart biopsy revealed myocarditis and other heart problems.

Candace Moose, Founding Director of the Myocarditis Foundation, who attended the event stated, “I am so grateful to have met these wonderful young people, to have been invited to share in their grief and in their activism, and finally for the Myocarditis Foundation to benefit from their tremendous efforts and success! May God bless them all.”

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