CROSBY – The Cody Stephens Memorial Fundraiser set a record last Saturday and attendees learned from State Representative Dan Huberty that next session Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick will endorse the measure to have heart scans for starting athletes across Texas.
Some 400 supported the cause to screen young athletes to prevent sudden death, and corporate sponsorships were at an all time high. The designation of the bill to screen first time athletes across Texas has been reserved to be HB76, Cody Stephen’s football jersey was 76.
There were many highlights at the fundraiser. Young Hanna O’Neill was awarded a belt buckle for her efforts last year. Al and Sherri Juniel had a son Cameron pass away playing a basketball game and they now are dedicated to the cause of screening all first time Texas athletes.
Dan Huberty, R., Texas House District 127, took the microphone to say he was sorry that he had been unable to pass the bill before now, pointing out that it was a victim of the Mother’s Day Massacre last session, where many consent agenda bills were crushed in the rush to budget. And Huberty said that he had always had a problem moving the bill to the forefront in the Senate, “But, I have come here today to announce that I have just gotten off the phone with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, head of the Senate, and I asked if he would guide the Cody Stephens Bill to the Governor’s desk in this next session and he answered, ‘Yes, I will.’”
Cody Stephens passed away napping in his father’s bedroom chair after a workout in preparation for playing college football at Tarleton State University on May 6, 2012. His father then learned that his son had passed from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, a condition that shows no outward signs but can be identified by the new, compact EKG machines in a scan. Annually, somewhere in Texas a young athlete’s heart would quit and another parent would have to go through the father’s grief.
The small business owner thought it a horrible waste that in the country where all have the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” that only a 202 year old medical device, the stethoscope, is used to find heart abnormalities in starting-out athletes when medicine has been moving on to new developments exponentially to prevent sudden death.
Scott Stephens and his wife, Melody, put together the Cody Stephens Go Big Or Go Home Memorial Foundation and have scanned about 100,000 hearts in Texas, finding some 2,000 have a medical issue they need to know about and 110 need immediate medical intervention.
They have paired with national concerns like parentheartwatch.org and Scott became President. So, last year the scanners that were actually doing most of the scanning were brought into the Foundation and a new level of concentration was achieved.
According to Stephens, about $225,000 was the gross from Saturday. “Melody and I are very humbled and appreciative of the money given to the Foundation last night. We will be able to spread the mission of screening young hearts throughout Texas this school year.”