Heroes Awards 2021

5th Annual Ava’s Heart Heroes Awards

Held as an online event, The 5th Annual Heroes Award featured an amazing evening of performances by triple-threat Nia Peeples, Grammy-winning composer Tommy Coster, and rap icon & honoree Kurtis Blow and helped us raise critical funds in support of transplant patients.



Kurtis Blow, a recent recipient of a heart transplant at UCLA Medical Center, is using his celebrity to bring national attention to transplantation and organ donation. Kurtis is one of the founders and creators of recorded rap. A timeless artist and hip hop legend, Kurtis blazed the trail for early hip hop artists and continues to carry the torch for hip hop music in new arenas. Kurtis is credited with many accolades, and was the first rapper to ever be signed to a major label, release a certified gold rap album (The Breaks), tour the United States and Europe, record a national commercial (Sprite), use the drum machine, sample and sample loop and release a rap music video.



Lyfebulb bridges the gap between transplant patient communities and the healthcare industry, bringing insights and solutions from patients to industry and empowering patients to get their voices heard by those who can bring revolutionary products to market.


The Transplant Life Foundation, founded in 2011, is the nation’s leading advocacy nonprofit for those in the donation and transplantation world – transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, individuals on the waiting list, caregivers, transplant professionals and supporters. As a primary educational and social networking hub for the donation and transplant community, organizing body for the Transplant Games of America and publisher of TransplantNATION magazine, Transplant Life Foundation strives each day to enhance and improve the lives of our members.


UCLA transplant programs have maintained a remarkably cohesive surgical, medical and support staff, which forms an experienced and committed team to face the challenges of organ transplantation. Physicians in many subspecialties act as consultants to the transplant programs, and their breadth of experience enhances the clinical success of all of the transplant programs at UCLA.


HOSTED BY: Phillip Palmer


As the Morning News Anchor for ABC7 in Los Angeles since 2002, Phillip has had the opportunity to be involved in a number of charitable endeavors.   He has been active in the Autism community, the ARC Walk for Independence, fundraising efforts for wounded veterans and organ donation… and that connection is deeply personal.

In 2007, Phillip’s friend Dale Davis became ill.  At first no one knew what was happening, only that Dale had been rushed to the emergency room with very high blood pressure.  Initial fears of a stroke were replaced with the knowledge that Dale would need a kidney transplant. By coincidence or divine intervention, Phillip had already been introduced to living donation by sports writer Rick Reilly, who had written a column about NBA star Alonzo Mourning and the kidney he received from his cousin.  After being moved by the article, Phillip had made a promise to act if the need ever arose.  Within weeks of Dale’s diagnosis, Phillip and Dale had transplant surgery and both are healthy and happy over 10 years later.  Dale has seen his daughters graduate college and one get married.  Phillip got married himself and had a little girl.