The AAP Recommends That All Kids Be Screened For Cardiac Issues

Nikkya Hargrove, our director of programs, also writes for a publication called Scary Mommy. In a recent article, she spoke about the importance of pediatric cardiac screenings. Read more!

Disability Pride Month 

July is Disability Pride month! A celebration of visibility, advocacy and accessibility, and self love for people with disabilities that began following the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. 


Heart failure can often be caused by a disabling condition and a heart transplant procedure itself can be disabling.  Having a disability can affect a person’s life in a number of ways from impacting physical mobility to employment status. A recent AHA publication showed that while 78% of heart transplant patients were employed full time prior to their transplant, the same population post transplant saw an employment rate of only about 25%. The Disability Rights movement seeks to address these issues. 


A large part of Disability Pride month and the Disability Rights Movement is self advocacy. Self advocacy is rooted in people with disabilities coming together to demand justice and equality. This can look like advocating for accommodations in a work or school environment, joining a community advocacy or support group, or just asking for help when you need it! One of the core tenets of the Disability Rights Movement is “nothing about us without us”. That means your voice is needed in making the world a more fair and accessible place!! 


The following questions are a great starting point for self advocacy from the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center: 

As a self advocate, ask yourself these questions. 

1.Why do you want to get involved in self advocacy? 

2.What issues or goals do you want to work on? 

3.What strengths or talents do you have?

4.What challenges would you like to work on? 

5.Who can you work with on self advocacy?

6.How do you want to get involved in your community?

7.What will help you be more successful?

 For more information see the links below!

Heart Health and the LGBT+ community. 

June is Pride Month! Pride Month seeks to celebrate the history and inclusion of LGBT+ people, as well as continue advocating for LGBT+ rights and acceptance. We at Harboring Hearts want to celebrate Pride and discuss the intersectionality between Heart Health and the LGBT+ community.


According to American Heart Association LGBT+ individuals are more likely to be at risk for heart disease than their straight or cis-gendered peers. Harboring Hearts aims to help. While we know heart disease can affect anyone, studies have shown that LGBT+ individuals are at an elevated risk for CVD for  a number of reasons.


Harboring Hearts is dedicated to supporting the physical and emotional needs of heart patients and their families. Through the emergency fund, community support events, and other aid, Harboring Hearts is able to decrease the financial burden of patients and caregivers, as well as increase the emotional support. 


For more information on the intersection between LGBT+ people and CVD check out:


Photo By: Jiroe

Update on Our Annual Family Campaign!

Our Annual Family Campaign is one of our favorite events at Harboring Hearts. We know that family is an essential part of every patient’s life and healing, which is why during our Family Campaign 100% of money raised goes directly to helping patients and their families. This year, we exceeded our fundraising goal by over $1,000. Our Family Campaign raised  $26,257! Thank you to all you bought products from our Heart Art Shop. (link to our Heart Art Shop)


For the first time ever as a part of our Family Campaign we have introduced our Heart Art Shop, featuring artwork, created by our heart patients, on everything from mugs to tote bags. Thank you to all of our heart artists and our printer Customimpressions. We appreciate every person who purchased heart art! 


Every campaign we choose a family to highlight. This year, we would like to introduce you to the Mandel family. At the age of 60 Jeff Mandel was told he needed a heart transplant, 27 months later Jeff was admitted to the hospital, alone, during the Coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, one week later Jeff received a transplant. Harboring Hearts was able to help Jeff’s wife, Faith, stay close, so she and Jeff could focus on the most important thing, recovery. Jeff says that “Harboring Hearts helped my family with dwelling so my wife who is in a power wheelchair could stay nearby and visit during my recovery.  Without them I don’t know what we would have done.” Faith shared that “just to have someone hold you for that time, I cannot even put it into words what that means.”


From our Harboring Hearts Family to yours we would like to thank you for all your support!

For Heart Art of your own:


Jeff Green, NBA Player, Meets Two Of Our Heart Patients

In May, Jeff Green, an NBA player with the Brooklyn Nets, surprised two Harboring Hearts heart patients over Zoom. In 2012, Jeff had emergency heart surgery which unexpectedly put his entire basketball career on hold. After recovering from his surgery, Jeff fought his way back to the NBA. Needless to say, Jeff has an inspiring story to share.


                       Jeff Green and his wife, Stephanie



During each surprise meeting, Jeff shared his own heart journey story, gave words of wisdom, and left Javon and Jaslin feeling like they could do anything!


Javon, a 26-year-old who was in the hospital awaiting a heart transplant and an avid Brooklyn Nets fan. From his hospital bed, Javon expressed how much he loves basketball and shared his expectations of Jeff for the NBA Playoffs, which were happening at the time of their meeting. Javon, like Jeff, is a dad, a role that keeps them fighting and focused on getting and staying healthy. A week after his surprise, Javon received his new heart and is now recovering at home. 


Javon and Jeff



Jaslin, an 8-year-old heart surgery patient, smiled ear to ear as soon as Jeff and his wife, Stephanie, popped on the screen. Jaslin drew a picture for Jeff and Stephanie, which she presented them with on the call. Stephanie, the author of Dream, Little Girl, Dream, read Jaslin her story. Towards the end of their meeting, Jeff asked Jaslin who her favorite basketball player was – she said Lebron, Kobe, and Jeff!  


Jaslin, Ana (mom), Jeff, and Stephanie



Thank you to Jeff and Stephanie Green for your compassion and warmth. Your words were inspiring and gave Javon and Jaslin space to reflect on their journeys! Thank you to the NBA and Brooklyn Nets for your support! Check out this link to learn more about Jeff’s heart journey!

Harboring Hearts 2018 Annual Benefit

Check out these articles from Medium and InvitedNYC to take a look inside our 2018 Annual Benefit!



Woman Around Town – My Career Choice: Michelle Javian – Harboring Hearts

Check out this link of Harboring Hearts co-founder, Michelle Javian, talking about how this wonderful organization got started and more!

Follow us on social media (@harboringhearts) for more inspiring stories!


Harboring Hearts Fall 2016 Benefit

The Harboring Hearts benefit was a splash with some great celebs and other philanthropists in attendance.

Guests and celebs including Dina Lohan and Joy Bauer attended the Harboring Hearts benefit.


Harboring Hearts, a 501 (c) (3) organization, provides funding, affordable housing and community programs that directly impacts patients and families affected by cardiac disease.

Read the full article here.

Harboring Hearts Fall Benefit Gala

Harboring Hearts celebrated their Fall 2016 Benefit Gala in New York City at the Bryant Park Grill. Harboring Hearts, a 501 (c) (3) organization, provides funding, affordable housing and community programs that directly impacts patients and families affected by cardiac disease. Harboring Hearts is dedicated to providing critical financial and emotional assistance for heart patients and their families.

The benefit raised money to support pediatric and adult patients awaiting or undergoing a heart transplant or critical cardio-thoracic surgical care.

Read the full article here.