Know the Signs, Fight for Victory

The Marfan Foundation to Honor Surgeon Dr. Charles Huddleston and Community Leaders Robert and Donna Plummer at Heartworks St. Louis on March 5

Charles Huddleston, MD, Professor of Surgery at St. Louis University School of Medicine and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, is the 2016 recipient of The Marfan Foundation’s Hero with a Heart Award. The award will be presented at the Foundation’s gala, Heartworks St. Louis, on March 5. Robert and Donna Plummer, regional business leaders from Edwardsville, IL, will receive the Corporate Champions Award for their ongoing and steadfast support of The Marfan Foundation.

Heartworks St. Louis, which will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, is a benefit for The Marfan Foundation. The Foundation conducts public and medical awareness and educational programs; provides patient support; and facilitates research to create a brighter future for people living with Marfan syndrome and related disorders. It is hosted each year by Alan and Rebecca Braverman.  Dr. Braverman is the Alumni Endowed Professor in Cardiovascular Diseases and 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. Dr. Doug and Sharon Aach are Champions of the gala and vital partners.

“I am so proud to present awards this year to Dr. Charles Huddleston and Robert and Donna Plummer. These honorees are highly esteemed members of our medical and business community and most deserving of this recognition,” said Dr. Braverman. “I am so grateful to the St. Louis community and our gala committee which, year after year, supports this event. Awareness of Marfan syndrome and related disorders is critical and, through Heartworks St. Louis, we have successfully kept these life-threatening conditions top-of-mind in our region.”

Dr. Huddleston is a recognized leader in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation, and congenital heart disease. Many people in the Marfan syndrome and related disorders community rely on him for his surgical expertise when they require surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm or a leaking mitral valve, or perform corrective surgery for a chest wall deformity.

Robert Plummer is president of R.P. Lumber Company; Donna is vice president of the company. Mr. Plummer is a member of multiple hospital boards, business forums, and institutions of higher learning.  The Plummers are active supporters of numerous charitable events across the region, and have a long-standing commitment to The Marfan Foundation and Heartworks St. Louis.

Heartworks St. Louis has a special meaning for Dr. Braverman 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 eighth 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 $250 each. For more information and to purchase tickets, please go to The Marfan Foundation website. Or, you can contact Diane Serenita 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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