TJ Carrie Teams Up With Camp Taylor To Share Heart Warrior Experiences With Children Who Have Congenital Heart Disease
Oakland Raiders cornerback TJ Carrie has something special in common with 21-year-old Taylor Gamino. They were both born with congenital heart defects and have undergone open-heart surgery by pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, Frank Hanley, MD, at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Carrie was diagnosed with a one-in-a-million heart defect while he was a sophomore at De La Salle High School in Concord, CA. He and his family made the decision to under go open heart surgery to repair his heart defect, which was performed on Valentine’s Day in 2006 by Dr. Frank Hanley at Oakland Children’s Hospital. After a long recovery, Carrie was able to return to high school football and chase his dreams to the NFL. Gamino was born with Hypo-Plastic Right Heart with intact ventricular septum (Half of a heart) and underwent four open heart surgeries and suffered a stroke in the first 5 years of his life. Gamino’s limitations, due to his heart condition, inspired his family to create the nonprofit organization Camp Taylor, which bares his namesake, a free medically supervised California camp for children with heart disease. Carrie volunteers on behalf of Camp Taylor visiting with campers, making hospital visits with Taylor, and attending fund raising events for the Camp. Both Carrie and Taylor share their personal Heart Warrior message and proudly show off their “zipper” scars.
Photo Courtesy of Lori Grace: Sand Wave Media
Photo Gallery: Courtesy of Camp Taylor