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Memphis Has a Big Heart

Congenital Heart Disease affects 1 in 100 babies born every year, with 25% of those babies requiring life-saving open heart surgery before their first birthday.

by Katrina Dorse | Founder

In the Mid-South, thousands of families are currently affected by Congenital Heart Disease, with few resources available to provide the support necessary to ensure they are socially, physically, or financially supported during their journey. In 2016, after the passing of her son, Kellen, to Congenital Heart Disease, Katrina Dorse founded the Big Heart Fund to fill this void.

Every year, the Big Heart Fund hosts the Heart to Heart Reception and Silent Auction for supporters and members of the Congenital Heart Disease community to come together to celebrate Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week and raise funds to support families of the Heart Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. The evening if full of delicious food, wine, and amazing silent auction items donated by artists, restaurants, and local businesses. With all proceeds benefiting The Big Heart Fund and our efforts to provide social, physical, and financial support to families of the Heart Institute at Le Bonheur, this event is a good time for a great cause! Each year, this annual event continues to grow and this year, we raised nearly $7,500 to support heart families throughout the Mid-South. This year, we also had the honor of receiving a proclamation from Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris declaring Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week (Feb.7-14th) in Shelby County for the first time. If you missed the event this year, don’t worry, mark your calendars for next year, Friday, February 7, 2020!


Kellen Dorse was born with multiple congenital heart defects and passed away at 5 months old while waiting for a heart transplant. In honor of the many CHD superheroes just like Kellen, we are providing support so that every family can feel empowered.
The mission of the Big Heart Fund is to support families of the Heart Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

The vision of the Big Heart Fund is to develop a spirit of community among families battling congenital heart defects through social, physical, and financial support.

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