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Rock the Red for the Gordon Owino Heart Foundation

Updated: Feb 9

Did you know Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) affects one in 110 children born in the United States, making it the most common birth defect in America? CHDs vary in severity, ranging from an easily repaired hole in the heart to complex conditions requiring multiple surgeries or transplants. Some cases are too severe to survive. The Gordon Owino Heart Foundation, established by Arnold and Hayley Owino of Fort Mill in 2013, aims to provide hope and support to families navigating the difficult circumstances that a Congenital Heart Disease diagnosis can bring. 

Inspired by their son Gordon, who was diagnosed with life-threatening heart defects, the foundation supports families during extended hospital stays. After going undiagnosed his entire first year of life, Gordon faced a challenging diagnosis of Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), representing just four percent of congenital heart defects. His only hope was said to be a heart and lung transplant, with a procedure survival rate of only five percent. Sent home without any possible interventions, his parents began seeking a second opinion and turned to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, CA, where Dr. Frank Hanley pioneered a surgery for Gordon’s exact heart defect called Unifocalization. Gordon and his family traveled to CA to undergo the fourteen hour long surgery - which was ultimately successful! With the TOF diagnosis, Gordon still travels to Stanford for all of his continuing care and will undergo surgeries periodically throughout his life. Seeing him now, you would never know Gordon lives with a chronic condition! He loves to play baseball and basketball, enjoys riding his one-wheel, and is incredibly outgoing, observant, inquisitive, and empathetic.

Get involved

February, designated as Heart Month, is an opportunity to raise awareness about heart disease. How can our community support the GO Heart Foundation? Supporting the foundation involves wearing red and purchasing red mailbox bows to “Rock the Red” throughout the month of February!

Local businesses also have the opportunity to purchase beautiful Rock the Red bows (handmade by Fredda at Buy the Bunch) to place on their doors for the month of February. Bows are $15 each and can be ordered via Venmo (@GordonOwino-HeartFoundation). Please specify how many bows you would like in the comment section. You can pick up your bow(s) at Buy the Bunch in downtown Fort Mill.

Other local initiatives

  • When you dine at Napa at Kingsley and The Pump House during the month of February, you can round up in support of the GOHF!

  • Attend spirit night at Voodoo Wings on Wednesday, Feb. 14th from 5pm-9pm where the GOHF will receive 10% of sales.

  • On Saturday, Feb. 24th, Untamed Waters Brewing is hosting their launch party that will consist of new beer releases, food, live music, and raffles where the proceeds will support the GOHF.

Explore their website to learn more and to make a donation. Stay informed about ways to get involved by following them on Instagram and Facebook!

Thanks to the Gordon Owino Heart Foundation, our community has the opportunity to provide assistance to families facing a difficult diagnosis. We encourage everyone to come together and paint the town red in support of the GO Heart Foundation during American Heart Month!


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