The ability to save lives is monumental in itself, but taking on the responsibility of lifesaver to those who can’t afford the medical necessities for survival is simply heroic. Heartbeat International, a global cardiovascular non-profit organization, providing pacemakers to those who can’t afford the $25,000-$50,000 price tag is making a difference. The tremendous doctors and organizers of Heartbeat International have been defraying costs and saving live since 1984, providing aid to more than 15,000 people to date.

The Cost of Saving A Life

Sadly, there is a cost to saving lives and fundraising needs to happen.  On the plus side, Heartbeat International knows how to touch people’s hearts in more ways than one. On May 13th, Heartbeat International invited potential donors for a night of world-class music, fortunate to be in the crowd, I can tell you firsthand, each of us left with more than a pretty tune in our heads. Hosted by George Lorton,a long time supporter of Heartbeat International, George is a charming man with an arsenal of jokes who urged each of us to share his experience  and “pay the night forward.”

Dr. Benedict Maniscalco, a graduate of Duke University and volunteer CEO of Heartbeat International, then went up to the microphone to present Lorton with the Federico Alfaro Humanitarian award and share his thoughts on the event and company. Maniscalco reminded everyone that they were there to “celebrate the idea of philanthropy.” He then introduced a presentation on a boy named Arturo Segura, a Heartbeat International success story.

Arturo was a 7-year-old boy in Mexico in 2003 whose family couldn’t afford a pacemaker. The father was in tears, saying “I couldn’t save my own son’s life.” But then they met Dr. Ricardo Meneses of Heartbeat International who was able to get him into surgery for a pacemaker, “It’s just what people do for each other in this life” said Dr. Meneses.

Opening the impassioned night of enchanting music at the fundraiser was Ashley Thunder, a soprano with a strong voice and even stronger belief in what Heartbeat International does worldwide. The headliner was, Maximo Marcuso, Tenor of the Americas, who left the audience in awe after every song. Through his passion for singing and Heartbeat International's mission, the audience was inspired to dig deep as they gave to this much-needed charitable organization. Through the night, Marcuso’s upbeat and fun personality touched everyone in the room as he openly shared how he was, “finding the real meaning of my life, and my career.”

The event ended with Arturo himself, as well as Dr. Ricardo Meneses, both at the event through the Internet over video. They discussed Arturo’s future, sharing Arturo wants to become a physician and Arturo's neverending gratitude to Heartbeat International for giving him life.

Marcuso sang a last set, ending the night asking, “How many lives are we going to save tonight?”

If you'd like to learn more and make a donation to Heartbeat International, contact them through their website. At Heartbeat International their motto is, "Saving Hearts in Need One Pacemaker at a Time."  Who knows how many lives Arturo will touch as he grows and follows his dream to be a doctor, he thankfully has a future where he too can selflessly give, and make a difference in the lives of others. The gift of life, please consider helping Heartbeat International defray the cost of saving lives! Donate today, only $565 saves a life. (Cover photo courtesy of Heartbeat International Facebook of Arturo Segura) Check out our full guide to Charity Events in Tampa.