The Heart To Heart Foundation At 30

For three decades, the Heart to Heart Foundation a charity arm of The Karen Hospital has been dedicated to leaving a mark on a child’s heart. This is a significant milestone. It is a momentous occasion that calls for reflection, gratitude, and a celebration of all the achievements made in supporting children with heart conditions.

The foundation has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It was established in 1993 by the visionary founders, Dr. Betty and Dr. Dan Gikonyo, who were deeply moved by the sight of children losing their lives to preventable heart diseases. With a burning desire to make a difference, they set out on a mission to provide hope and healing to these young souls.

Since its inception, we have worked tirelessly to bring hope, support, and healing to countless children suffering from heart ailments. Through the dedication of our medical professionals, the tireless efforts of our volunteers, and the unwavering support of our donors, we have been able to transform the lives of these young individuals and their families.

Each success story we celebrate is a testament to the power of compassion and the incredible impact we can make when we come together for a noble cause. We have witnessed the joy in a child’s eyes as they receive life-saving treatments, the relief in parents’ hearts as their child’s health improves, and the resilience that emerges from the darkest of circumstances.

30 years later, over 600 successful operations, The H2HF has truly touched and literally given a new lease of life to these many children. Our journey has been marked by challenges and triumphs, but through it all, we have remained steadfast in our mission. We have pushed the boundaries of medical innovation, ensured access to quality healthcare for underprivileged children, and empowered families to navigate the complexities of their child’s medical journey.
Thankfully now the Government through the NHIF scheme covers half of the fees. However, half a million remains unattainable for many of these families. These are families preoccupied by issues of basic needs and survival. Though the Foundation has insisted on family members and communities they hail from participate in a cost-sharing exercise, the burden has remained on the Foundation to raise the buck of the money. Through various fundraising models which include but not limited to:
1) An annual successful Heart run/walk draws participation from school children (the number participating from schools has actually been increasing in the last couple of years), families, corporates, private sector actors among many others. The fundraising is done by selling off different design colour t-shirts which have become a collector item among many.
 One of the recent highlights of the Heart to Heart Foundation was the successful heart run held on the 17th of June 2023. Thousands of participants gathered at Carnivore Grounds with hearts full of compassion and determination to make a difference. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as individuals from all walks of life joined hands to run for the cause. The heart runs not only raised significant funds but also served as a platform to raise awareness about paediatric cardiac care.
2) An annual high-profiled gala dinner that has served as a fundraiser but also a public relations function for the Foundation
Let us remember the countless lives that have been touched by the Heart to Heart Foundation. We owe our gratitude to our Founders Dr. Betty and Dr. Dan Gikonyo, Our Trustee, the Late Dr. James Mageria, the dedicated team, who work selflessly day and night, to our partners and collaborators who have shared our vision, and to our generous donors who have invested in the future of these children.
But our work is far from over. There are still children who need our help, families who need our support, and communities who need our advocacy. The challenges we face may evolve, but our commitment remains unwavering. We will continue to push boundaries, break barriers, and champion the cause of paediatric cardiac care.
Let us renew our vow to leave a lasting impact on the hearts of children. Let us rededicate ourselves to providing hope, healing, and happiness to those in need. Together, we can make a difference, one beat at a time.
Thank you for being a part of the Heart to Heart Foundation’s journey. Together, we will continue to change lives, transform communities, and create a world where every child’s heart can flourish.