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Advisory Board:

Dr. Juan C. Alejos, M.D.

Director, Pediatric Heart Transplant Cardiomyopathy Service, Professor in Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Cardiology Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA,
Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Lawrence Czer, M.D., FACC, FACP

Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program,
Director, Transplantation Cardiology,
Co-Director, Mechanical Support Program,
Cedars Sinai Medical Center,
Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Mario Deng, M.D., FACC, FESC
Professor of Medicine and Medical Director,
Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Support, Heart Transplant, David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA,
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center,
 Los Angeles, CA

Terry DeCrescenzo, MSW, LCSW
Social Worker, Grant Writer, Founder of GLASS Youth and Family Services, Los Angeles, CA

Iris Gordy


Board of Directors:

Founder - Executive Director
Ava Kaufman

Chairman of the Board
Richard Lightstone
CEO Autone Production

Steven Antebi
Chairman and Founder of Maple Capital Management

Karla Gordy Bristol
Nelson, Shelton & Associates, Luxury Real Estate Professional

Victoria Franklin, MBA

Sidra Franklin LoCurto
President Sidra Franklin Interior Design

Lisa C Fuijmoto
Ex. Vice President, Change a Life Foundation

Isabel Kilroe
President Kilroe Advertising

Lynn Lemay

Ada P. Sands
Attorney at Law Chairman, Sands and Associates Beverly Hills, CA

Lance J Walter
President Walter Properties - Palm Springs Hilton

Joan Yanov


Ava’s Heart is a 501 3 c organization pioneering a new field, that of organ transplant. Our mission is to help those that have been given the gift of life have a better quality of life. Integral to our mission is to bring awareness to the problems and difficulties transplant patients face pre and post transplant, and how transplant not only affects the recipient, but the entire family.
The concept of transplant is foreign to most of us. It is like a tale of science fiction. It is something we hardly hear about, and hopefully will not be involved with in our lifetimes.

Yet, for those who do get touched by the need for transplant, there is Ava’s Heart, the health foundation geared to becoming the go-to organization for transplant patients and their families.


Work with us to develop the most prominent health foundation in our country for those that have been given the gift of life.

We provide families with housing pre and post transplant, co-payments on medications, insurance payments, gas cards for clinic appointments, food cards, strollers, car seats, dental help, hearing aid, emotional and psychological support and other resources and refuge.

Due to the advances in modern medical devices such as the mechanical heart, the LVAD and the ECMO machine, people can wait longer for organs and live fuller lives thanks to new anti-rejection medications. They become members of the community of those who have been given the gift of life.

Yet, along with this new lease on life there is a transition back into regular living and many find their financial situation devastated.


Ava’s Heart mission cannot be accomplished without you sharing in our commitment to these patients and their families.

We currently help families with life saving grants through our partner Change A Life Foundation. We are also on call for families at Mattel’s Children’s Hospital, and while UCLA Health has become an avid supporter of our work as well, we are literally just beginning the work of a lifetime.
The gift of life deserves a better quality of life, and you are part and parcel of this endeavor. The most prominent health foundation for those that have been given the gift of life is happening now.

Have a change of heart. Help us. It must be you.
Ava’s Heart. Changing attitudes. One heart at a time.

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By initializing below I certify that information provided is accurate to the best of my knowledge.  I am providing AVA’s Heart with permission to verify information and rights to share my story to promote donations and awareness.

Contact Tel: 310.779.6616