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Community bonds to help youngster get heart transplant

Date Posted: 2011-01-21

Eight Okinawa groups have rallied to support a 12-year-old girl who needs a heart transplant, staging a charity concert to raise funds for the trip to the United States.

Miyu Kaname, a Kamimori Junior High School first grader, is suffering from Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy, which literally means "heart muscle disease," is the deterioration of the function of the myocardium (i.e., the actual heart muscle) for any reason. People with cardiomyopathy are often at risk of arrhythmia or sudden cardiac death or both.

She is at the stage of needing a heart transplant, but because of her age and the unavailability of a heart donor, it is necessary to go to an alternate method of treatment, known as Cardiomyopathies. Treatment depends on the type of cardiomyopathy, but may include medication, implanted pacemakers, defibrillators, or ventricular assist devices (LVADs). The goal of treatment is often symptom relief. She entered the junior high school last April and joined the tennis club with no previous symptoms of any medical abnormality to give cause for concern.

However, while doing a routine medical check up required to participate in sport activities, an abnormality was pointed out while reading the electrocardiogram. Since then she had to stop all sport activities and slow down on her school work which has place a strain on her heart, partial treatment has been received at Nanbu Medical Hospital. The next operation will have to be done in the United States.

The charity concert this week at Palette citizens' theater in Naha city on Monday brought together eight groups including Okinawa Shogaku high school chorus, Hawaiian Hula team and a singer who is blind, Tomoya Oshiro, singing and dancing.

The concert was promoted by"The Charity executive committee" and "The Okinawa women network for saving children,"

With the proceeds going to "The Party of Saving Miyu." In the theater, the audience danced, stood up or swung mobile telephone as penlight, while virtually everyone broke out in a big round of applause. Okinawa folk singer Misako Koja was the final performer.

The party of Saving Miyu says the amount of money raised thus far is エ91,200,000, but that an additional エ60 million more is necessary to reach the targeted level.

The government has approved the family to seek out donations to fill the financial gap required to perform this operation, but the cost is huge. Insurance coverage will help.

The Party of Saving Miyu is seeking support and generous donations from the community in helping to prolong her young life, through donations. Points of contact are Mr. Takashi Funakoshi, Mr. Satoru Hokama, Mr. Yoshitaka Shimoji, Mr. Akinobu Hiranaka and Ms. Hiromi Yamashiro. Who can be reached at (098-877-0666).

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