About Living for Zachary
Living for Zachary
Living for Zachary was founded in honor of Zachary Schrah, who
was only 16 years old when he collapsed during a high school football
practice in Plano on April 2, 2009. There was no warning. There were no
signs. After Zachary’s death, Living for Zachary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established to raise awareness of undiagnosed heart issues in teens.
Living for Zachary is dedicated to raising awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in youth and saving lives through community education and awareness events, promoting youth heart screenings, awarding student scholarships and donating automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to youth-based organizations.
Who We Are
Trying to cope with Zac's death, a group of mothers began researching
the incidents of SCA in young student athletes. We were shocked to
learn that nationwide 10,000 young people die each year from SCA
(according to the American Heart Association). That is 28 a day! Not
only is that figure staggering, we feel it is absolutely unacceptable
when it can be prevented in many cases.
The research also revealed that SCA is a SILENT KILLER
striking the seemingly healthy and fit without symptoms or warning.
When we learned that simple cardiac testing can detect the potential
for SCA with 99% accuracy but is not the current standard of care for
routine or sport physical examinations, we were called to action. A sad
but true fact is that most insurance carriers will not cover cardiac
testing unless there are symptoms. But again, in most cases there are
Since its inception in June 2009,
the core group of mothers has grown to include fathers, students,
friends, businesses, schools, medical institutions and other
organizations. We know that in our hearts with more education awareness
and screening, fewer cases of SCA will occur. Fewer precious lives will