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Toss for Texas Children’s Heart Center

A Fundraiser Like No Other

Toss for Texas Children’s Heart Center is a fundraiser like no other — a bean bag tournament, great food, friends and lots of fun in the spectacular setting of the Houston Polo Club — all to raise community awareness and support for Texas Children’s Heart Center.

At the third annual event last fall, Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., and chief of Cardiology Dr. Daniel Penny were on hand to encourage the high-spirited competitors. Also in attendance were Texas Children’s Board members Nancy Gordon and Cindy Taylor, as well as Dr. Wayne Franklin, director of Texas Children’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program; John Nickens, executive vice president; and Radiologist-in-Chief Dr. George Bissett.


At Texas Children’s Hospital, lives are changed on a daily basis thanks in part to the generosity of members of the philanthropic community, many of whom have experienced Texas Children’s lifesaving care firsthand.  Toss for Texas Children’s Heart Center event co-chairs Cari and John Griggs and Amy and Mike Reeves can attest to that.

In Healing Hands

The Reeves Family

Shortly after their daughter MaryAlan was born, Amy and Michael Reeves learned she had a potentially life-threatening hole in her heart. They brought her to Texas Children’s for treatment when she was just four months old. Dr. Carrie Altman, medical director of Cardiology, and her team were able to close the hole in MaryAlan’s heart without having to perform open-heart surgery. Today, she is a healthy five-year-old who loves tennis and all types of dance — especially if she gets to wear her hair bow.

A Promise to Give Back

The Griggs Family

Cari and John Griggs began their journey with Texas Children’s Heart Center when Cari was pregnant with their youngest son Gus and they learned he had a rare lung disease that also had cardiac implications. Gus had four life-saving fetal surgeries at Texas Children’s and spent the first five months of his life in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Seven years later, Cari was shocked to learn that she, too, had a congenital heart condition — an atrial septal defect that had never been detected before and that required open-heart surgery. She was referred to Texas Children’s world-class adult congenital heart team, and Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., performed surgery to close the hole in her heart muscle.

Cari and John then decided to have all their children tested. Results revealed that their daughter Lila also had a hole in her heart. Dr. Fraser was to perform Lila’s surgery, but in one last test performed right after she was wheeled into the operating room, Dr. Fraser noticed something peculiar. He even brought in multiple teams to corroborate. The hole was gone.

After so many years of putting their lives in the hands of the experts at Texas Children’s Hospital, the Griggs family feel they owe a special debt of gratitude, and they give freely of both their time and resources to make certain those same miracles are possible for others. They are both currently serving as co-chairs of Texas Children’s Promise Campaign.

“The hospital has changed my family’s life,” Cari said. “It changed my fate and the fates of my little boy and little girl. We’ve been given so much. How can we not give back in any way we can?”

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