The 16th Annual Richie Ashburn Memorial Home Runs For Heart fights heart disease and raises money for the American Heart Association. The Phillies invite the public to step up to the plate at Citizens Bank Ballpark. I attended the media day and met a heart transplant survivor who thanks the event for saving his life.
Derrick Fitzgerald isn’t a professional baseball player, but when he stepped up to bat he had a whole lot of heart. He was honored at the Richie Ashburn Home Runs For Heart fundraiser because he suffered from heart failure and in 2011 he received a new heart. Ashburn the former Phillies centerfielder passed away from heart disease. Now his son, Richie Ashburn, Jr., carries out this event in his father’s honor.
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. Ashburn says this fundraiser raises close to $100,000 for the American Heart Association.
Derrick Fitzgerald says the support is a gift of a lifetime.
“I like to think of living my life now as if my donor is watching and its up to me to promise to fulfill the gift that I was given,” Fitzgerald said.
By Ashley Johnson @AshleyNJohnson3
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