Oakland Raiders quarterback and Valley Children’s aupporter Derek Carr and his wife, Heather, announced Thursday the launch of DC4KIDS.
The campaign will fund the most immediate needs at Valley Children’s, helping the pediatric healthcare network provide high-quality care to the more than 1.3 million children who live in an 11-county service area.
“Valley Children’s is near and dear to my family’s heart,” said Derek, a former Fresno State star football player. “The doctors, nurses and staff saved my son’s life three years ago. Heather and I will be forever grateful for the care Dallas received. Every time we visit Valley Children’s, we see children who are not only healing, but also happy, too. We want to make sure Valley Children’s is around for other families, just like it was for mine.”
“Derek is a remarkable athlete, but what makes him truly special is his heart,” says Valley Children’s president and CEO Todd Suntrapak. “The support he and Heather have given Valley Children’s over the years has been tremendous. They continue to spend time here, visiting with our patients and families and doing whatever they can to give back. We’re truly blessed to now be a beneficiary of the DC4KIDS campaign, which will help further our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children.”
Hours after Derek and Heather’s son Dallas was born in 2013, he was rushed into emergency surgery at Valley Children’s Hospital. Dallas was born with intestinal malrotation, a potentially life-threatening congenital anomaly that can cut off blood supply to the intestinal tract. Dallas underwent two more surgeries and spent 23 days in Valley Children’s Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which provides the highest level of care possible for newborns and infants. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Valley Children’s one of the best children’s hospitals in the country in neonatology.
“I know the dedication and hard work it takes to be recognized as a leader who delivers their best every day,” Derek adds. “Even as Heather and I watch Dallas now, we remember the many hands and hearts at Valley Children’s that helped him.”
Each year, Derek and Heather spend several hours visiting with Valley Children’s patients, families and staff and donate time to record public service announcements for the non-profit organization. Derek’s brother, David and his wife, Melody, have also donated their time to Valley Children’s. David was the first-ever draft pick by the Houston Texans, the No. 1 overall pick in 2002.
Derek and Heather Carr not only launched DC4KIDS, but became the first to donate to the campaign. They encourage others to do the same. They also invite patrons and businesses to consider joining the Derek Carr Touchdown Challenge. For every touchdown pass Derek throws or runs in this season with the Raiders, participants will donate $100 to DC4KIDS. At the completion of the season, participants make a single donation for the total number of TDs scored. Club members will receive an autographed photo of Derek and an invitation to a special reception with the quarterback in 2017.
For more information on DC4KIDS, please visit valleychildrens.org/DC4KIDS.