Know the Signs, Fight for Victory

The Marfan Foundation to Honor Washington University School of Medicine Faculty at Heartworks St. Louis Gala on March 7

Patrick J. Geraghty, MD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery and Radiology and Co-Director of the Limb Salvage Center at Washington University School of Medicine, is the 2015 recipient of The Marfan Foundation’s Hero with a Heart Award at the Foundation’s gala, Heartworks St. Louis, March 7. In addition, the Foundation will present its first Distinguished Research Award to Robert Mecham, PhD, Alumni Endowed Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University School of Medicine. Ron and Pam Rubin will receive the Community Champions Award for their ongoing and steadfast support of the Foundation.

Isaiah Austin, the former Baylor University basketball standout whose Marfan syndrome diagnosis in June 2014 prevented him from entering the NBA draft, will be on-hand to meet the families from the Marfan syndrome and related disorders community from the St. Louis area and provide some words of inspiration.

Heartworks St. Louis, which will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, is a benefit for The Marfan Foundation. The Foundation does everything including education, patient support, and research to create a brighter future for people living with Marfan syndrome and related disorders.

“This year, again, we have honorees who are so deserving for their commitment to the Marfan syndrome and related disorders community. Dr. Pat Geraghty is a well-respected vascular surgeon who performs life-saving surgery for people with complex connective tissue disorders. Dr. Robert Mecham is a national leader in research of elastic tissue function whose work has contributed to understanding the structure and function of fibrillin, the abnormal protein in Marfan syndrome. Ron and Pam Rubin are community leaders and dear friends, whose commitment has led to increased awareness of Marfan syndrome and The Marfan Foundation,” said Alan Braverman, MD, Director of the Marfan Syndrome Clinic at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Jewish Hospital, and Chair of the Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board who serves as co-host of the gala with his wife, Rebecca.

He added, “We are so pleased to welcome Isaiah Austin to Heartworks St. Louis and express our appreciation for his efforts to raise awareness of Marfan syndrome. In addition, I am incredibly grateful to the St. Louis community for their ongoing support of this gala year after year, especially Dr. Doug Aach and his wife, Sharon, who have once again been tremendous partners in increasing awareness of this event.”

Heartworks St. Louis has a special meaning for Dr. Braverman, who is also Alumni Endowed Professor in Cardiovascular Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine, as he lost his father to Marfan syndrome and has a brother and nephew who are affected with the condition.

Heartworks St. Louis is now in its seventh year. More than 400 people attended last year’s event, including leading St. Louis and Metro East area clinicians and researchers on Marfan syndrome and members of the St. Louis Chapter of The Marfan Foundation.

Heartworks St. Louis will be held at the Grand Ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. The cocktail reception begins at 7 pm, with dinner and the awards presentations at 8 pm. Entertainment will be provided by Groovethang.

Tickets to Heartworks St. Louis are $200 each. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Or, you can contact Diane Longo at 516.883.8712, ext. 137, or

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The Marfan Foundation is a nonprofit organization that saves lives and improves the quality of life of individuals with genetic aortic and vascular conditions including Marfan, Loeys-Dietz, and Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. Our vision is a world in which everyone with genetic aortic and vascular conditions can live their best life.

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