About us

David's Story

David Heller was 17 years old when he died on November 23, 2005 as a result of an undiagnosed heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. David had no symptoms that would alert his family that he had a life threatening condition.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving David played in a basketball scrimmage at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, where he was a junior. After the game, David went out to eat, drove himself home, worked on homework, talked to friends on his cell phone then watched a basketball game on television before going to bed. David passed away peacefully in his sleep.

David grew up in Scappoose, Oregon and lived there his whole life. He went to school in Scappoose through his Freshman year in high school before transferring to Central Catholic High School where he was the starting shooting guard on the Varsity Basketball team. He was a child of many dreams and he lived and worked passionately to fulfill them.

David had a passion for life and particularly the game of basketball. He had an incredible work ethic both on and off the court. He had the capacity to love, serve and help others in need.

After David’s death a foundation was established to help other youth and to honor David’s legacy.

David's Legacy – 15 Years of Healthy Teen Hearts

The David Heller Foundation

Board of Directors – Scott Stratton, Riley Mahoney, Jeff Heller, Bev Heller

The David Heller Foundation was formed in 2006, to honor David’s memory by promoting the importance of heart health in teen athletes and educating the public on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, the leading cause of death in teen athletes. The foundation is multipurpose with its primary mission of Prevention, Prediction and Preparedness.

To date the Foundation has funded $200,000 for research through The David Heller Center for HCM at the Providence Heart Institute. Through partnerships with Legacy Health and Providence Play Smart, we sponsor cardiac screening of teenage athletes to alert teens and families of any abnormal heart conditions and educate the public on the importance of cardiac screening. Over 42,000 teens have been screened. The Foundation purchases, donates and distributes portable Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to schools and sports teams and organizations throughout the region to ensure easy access and fast response if an emergency arises on the field, on the bus or in the gym. Over 350 AEDs have been donated.

In addition to the primary mission, the Foundation also awards scholarships for secondary education to deserving students that meet the criteria established by the Board.

The foundation is a 501(c)(3) and is qualified as a Public Charity (tax ID 20-4974161). 

The Board of Directors and several committees work to carry out the mission of the foundation.