The Story of Valentina Allen: Half the Heart, but Twice the Fight

On February 15, 2013 Danielle and Ryan Allen gave birth to their second child, Valentina. However, this beautiful baby girl was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) 20 weeks into Danielle’s pregnancy, but Valentina was quite the fighter.

Throughout the pregnancy, Danielle and Ryan knew they had to make a very difficult decision. They visited several hospitals and received many recommendations from different doctors. Most did not give Valentina much of a chance at all. However, one hospital would match Valentina’s fight. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia gave her the fighting chance that the parents needed to hear.

The birth of Valentina, which was a question mark in itself, was a success. When examining her condition, the doctors realized not only was she born with half a heart, but also what was on the left should have been on the right and vice versa. This made every surgery even more difficult.

Valentina went through countless surgeries before she did not have any more fight left in her. On May 12, 2015, at just two years old, Valentina passed. Many looked at this as a battle that was lost. However, those same people did not realize that the battle was just beginning.

Danielle and Ryan could have sat back and grieved, which would have been completely understandable, but they did not do that. They were inspired by their daughter’s two-year fight and they continue till this day to raise money and fight for other’s who are in the same shoes that Valentina once was.

Their story and fight has inspired others to join along. The battle started off small with small donations, and wristbands and t-shirts being sold in Valentina’s name. However, it continued to grow. In the two years since her passing, Danielle and Ryan have raised nearly $200,000 through various fundraisers. Most recently, the Angels of the Bay Foundation donated over $40,000 in Valentina’s name to CHOP. The family also collects toys during the holiday season to bring to the hospital so the kids who are spending their days there have something to bring them joy. The ultimate goal is to have a cardiology examining room at CHOP to be named in Valentina’s honor.

The fight is far from over and people are still getting on board. I encourage you to help continue this fight and hopefully a cure can be found. There are various treatments for patients who are diagnosed with HLHS, but a cure is yet to be found. Some do live with this disease, but there are complications that they face their whole lives. They have to deal with taking medicine day after day, check-ups too often, and even additional surgery may be required. Some patients are lucky enough to receive heart transplants, but even then the fight does not stop. These patients have to take medicines for the rest of their lives to prevent the body from rejecting the new heart.

It is time that HLHS becomes more known so we can stop others from suffering down the road. The people fighting this battle have been tremendous so far, but it is far from over. The support system continues to grow and it has now reached college sports. The St. Joseph’s Brooklyn Women’s Basketball team will be playing in Valentina’s honor for their first six home games. These games will be played on November 15th, 21st, 28th, and 30th, and December 2nd and 5th. During these games the team will be collecting donations with all the proceeds going towards CHOP, while collecting toys as well for the kids who spend their holidays at the Hospital. On December 5th they will hold a ceremony in honor of Valentina. I urge you to come support these girls as they play for a growing cause. Do not let the battle stop now. Help us in making sure this continues to grow. The fight is far from over, but the light is in sight.

HLHS is a disease that is overlooked too often and awareness needs to increase. All I ask is that you spread the word about HLHS. I am not expecting anyone to donate or take further action, but anything helps. Visit the donation page if you wish to help the cause. You can also help the cause by coming out and supporting the St. Joseph’s College Women’s Basketball Team. As mentioned, they will be collecting donations via 50/50 raffle and donation jars, while collecting toys as well. You can learn more about Valentina and the growing community who has been helping support the cause and raise awareness by visiting the Facebook page that was started by her parents, Ryan and Danielle. Once again, just help spread the word by sharing this article, retweeting the tweet about it on New York Groove’s Twitter page, or just talking about HLHS in your community. Let’s continue this fight together, so one day we can finally put an end to HLHS.


4 SZNS Podcast ft Oliver Maroney

Give the 4 SZNS Pod a follow on SoundCloud to stay up to date on all of the 4 SZNS episodes!

In this episode:

“The 4 SZNS Podcast’s Ryan Magdziarz and Zak Noble sit down with rising NBA writer and analyst Oliver Maroney to discuss life as a famous NBA personality, the development of the Big 3, and buying or selling NBA teams.

1:35- Dime Uproxx vs Slam Magazine

3:00- Career path

5:32- Baby faced assasin/ benefits of starting at an early age

7:30- Building relationships with players and maintaining them

9:12- Writing style/ eye test over analytics and stats

11:35- Involvement with the Big 3 & The Big 3 Podcast Show

14:55- First year growth and thoughts

16:43- Best friends with Ice Cube & Michael Rapaport

20:36- Metta World Peace joins the Big 3

21:52- Changes and improvements of the second season of the Big 3

24:25- Basketball inKansas City

24:55- Buy Or Sell: Detroit Pistons

29:04- Orlando Magic

33:15- New York Knicks

37:21- Charlotte Hornets

39:45- Denver Nuggets

44:40- Utah Jazz

48:27- OKC Thunder

53:36- Top 5: Big 3 player wishlist”

Abstract Sports Podcast Ep. 31: Sports, Bets, and Q & A

The boys from Abstract Sports are back! This week they discuss a bunch of topics between the MLB, NFL and NBA! Their podcast will be posted weekly on YouTube so make sure you click that subscribe button! They will also be doing live shows every Wednesday at 7PM Mount Time / 9 PM EST on Twitch! Nope, they are not done there. You can also listen to their podcasts in high quality audio by checking out their SoundCloud. Do you want to know a little bit more about Abstract Sports? Well then just head over to their Twitter and give them a follow!

In this epsiode:

“With a lack of preparation (as usual), Kyle and Micah manage to stumble their way into a few great tangents relating to current topics in the sports world. Topics include:

– Idaho State High School Football Championship
– Rudy Gobert injury
– Men’s / women’s Vandal basketball
– Ezekiel Elliott repeals his appeal for suspension
– Jerry Jones trying to sue NFL
– Sports as microchosm for the world
– Result of the three top 10 matchups in CFB last week
– Discussing the process of recruiting

NEW: Weekly Bet
Who wins between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers? Kyle takes the Chargers, and if they win, Micah has to face him in a 3-point shootout. If the Chargers win? Micah makes a custom drink for Kyle that he has to drink (and finish) during next week’s episode. Either way, you’ll have something interesting to watch to say the least.”


Abstract Sports Ep. 30: Vegas Golden Knights & the Ups and Downs in Houston

In episode thirty of the Abstract Sports Podcast, Kyle and Micah get the listeners caught up with their lives after a crazy last few weeks of travel, World Series action, and more.

They discuss the surprisingly good start for the Vegas Golden Knights as they’ve come out the gates with a 8-3 record. Micah reluctantly allows Kyle to rabble on about LiAngelo Ball getting arrested in China. Then they discuss the Lakers/Celtics rivalry and it’s ridiculously close stat lines at this point in time. After discussing one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports, they talk about the comparison nobody can shut up about, Michael Jordan and Lebron James.

Kyle and Micah express their sadness for the virual end of the Idaho Vandals football season, but rejoice in getting to watch some Vandals basketball games in the very near future.

They discuss the hot and cold teams in the NFL, both of which happen to be birds.

They top the podcast off with a discussion of the ups and downs the city of Houston has faced in recent months. (See: Hurricane Harvey, JJ Watt relief efforts, JJ Watt season-ending injury, Astros make it to and WIN the World Series, Deshaun Watson tears ACL in non-contact drill during practice the next day.)

DiNardo’s Dugout: Overpaid/Underpaid MLB Free Agents

Make sure you give DiNardo’s Dugout a follow on Twitter and SoundCloud!

In this episode:

It’s officially Season 3 of DiNardo’s Dugout! Welcome to Offseason SZN! This week Tyler & DiNardo break down their top 5 free agents they feel will be overpaid this year while also providing the top 5 free agents they feel will be underpaid this offseason.

It wouldn’t be a Dugout show if there wasn’t some debauchery either. Geddis has found some new toys for SZN3 while the trio informs you of how you can prevent your nudes from being leaked online. It’s a must listen.

4 SZNS Podcast: Ep. 21

Give the 4 SZNS Pod a follow on SoundCloud to stay up to date on all of the 4 SZNS episodes!

In this episode:

The 4 SZNS Podcast by Real Ball Insiders Ryan Magdziarz and Zak Noble discuss the biggest surprises in the NBA SZN so far, the Eric Bledsoe trade, Harden and LeBron going off, and an incredible Top 5.

1:43- Surprise Teams so far through 11 games

3:40- Sacramento (Kansas City) Kings

6:25- Dallas Mavericks Struggles/ Carlisle on the hot seat?

8:17- Devin Booker milestone points record

9:26- Eric Bledsoe for Greg Monroe and draft picks break down

14:25- Red Hot Celtics going for 10 wins in a row

21:44- Harden and LeBron going bonkers….. Who’s next for 50+ points??

31:16- Top 5: Players that need to be talked about way more

Puck Sluts Ep. 4: This One’s for the Girls

Puck Sluts is back after being MIA last week! We almost had to miss two weeks in a row thanks to the Leonards bailing at the last minute of this week’s recording. Luckily, Chris was able to revamp the entire show, turning this week into a 2 man show, with Producer Mollie filling in as a special guest host! Sure. We’ll be straight up. Not our normal hockey filled podcast. But that doesn’t mean it’s not must watch! If anything, it’s even more MUST SEE than usual! Chris and Producer Mollie talk Taylor Hall shooting his shot with Selena Gomez, go through a special The Girls Room edition of Hot Take Central, and a special story about Mollie’s encounter with Rangers star forward J.T. Miller’s fiance at a Rangers viewing party! This special episode is not one your going to wanna miss! Make sure to like, subscribe and comment your thoughts on this week’s episode!