On April 26, 2009, Ryan Lopynski was a freshman at Virginia Tech with his whole life ahead of him. He’d come home to Clifton’s Hampton Chase community to see his family and look for a summer job.
But while showering before going to see his sister’s basketball game, he suffered a fatal heart attack. The specific cause of his death is still unknown, although it was discovered posthumously that Ryan had an enlarged heart.
His loss devastated his family; but since then, they established The Ryan Lopynski Big Heart Foundation to honor him and to increase public awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest through education and action. SCA claims the lives of 30 young adults a week in the U.S., and the foundation’s goal is to reduce the occurrence of SCA and save lives.
Toward that end, the “Every Heart Counts” fundraiser is slated for Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, from 7-11 p.m., at the Westfields Golf Club, 1940 Balmoral Greens Ave. in Clifton. The event includes an international wine-tasting sponsored by the Clifton Wine Shop, live and silent auctions, food and dancing.
Money raised will purchase EKG machines to provide free EKG screenings for Fairfax County high-school students during their annual athletic physicals. These screenings will offer a critical new level of heart testing that is currently unavailable — and they can potentially identify a heart abnormality before it is too late.
To register for the fundraiser, go to www.ryanlopynski.org..