Our team is comprised solely of individuals passionate about improving the lives of transplant candidates and recipients. We believe it is important to note that none of our executives, board members, or affiliates receive any sort of personal compensation for their work with Heartfelt Help. This organization exists purely to help the individuals we are fortunate enough to assist.
Denise Redeker Founder & CEO
After a complicated surgery, I received my new heart, my second chance at life in January 2018. Once I recovered, I knew that I wanted to give back in some way to the transplant community that has so helped me. I began volunteering with Donor Network West, the local OPO (Organ Procurement Organization) and found a niche that I could fill there, but it wasn’t until September of 2019 that I found a way to help that was desperately needed. I learned of a patient at my transplant center whose transplant was being delayed due to an inability to fully pay for his post transplant housing. A light bulb went off and I knew that something as solvable as money shouldn’t delay your second chance. I enlisted some friends and hosted a fundraiser on November 2, 2019 and raised $12,000 to help that patient and have some in reserve for the next ones. And that is how Heartfelt Help was founded. I am so grateful for my second chance and feel obligated to make it count in a way that gives back to the community that no one asks to be a member of, but for which all are grateful.
Matthew Redeker, CFA CFO
Matthew Redeker is the Foundation’s Chief Financial Officer. Matthew’s career thus far has spanned a variety of roles within the financial services and tech industries. He currently leads growth strategy & operations for a leading residential real estate technology firm. In addition to overseeing the Foundation’s finances, Matthew also enjoys trying to keep up with his mom, Heartfelt’s founder, while out on hikes through Northern California’s scenic countryside and beaches.
Amanda Schmier, Visual Marketing
Hi, my name is Amanda Schmier. I have been working with Denise since Heartfelt Help’s founding as a marketing specialist, graphic designer, and photographer. You can see some of my work on our website, merchandise, and social media. I am blessed to have this opportunity to work with her and this organization.
I am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Event Planning at Cal Poly – SLO. Working with Heartfelt Help has fostered my love for event planning. I aspire to work as a corporate event planner for large tech corporations and/or for local wineries in Sonoma and Napa county. I have a passion for dance and a love for hiking, kayaking, and photography.
Rami Turk, MD Board Member
I was born and raised in Foster City on the Peninsula. After my father underwent heart bypass surgery when I was in the 4th grade, I became intrigued by medicine and specifically the field of cardiology. Upon completion of my undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, I attended medical school at Emory University in Atlanta (where the first balloon angioplasty was performed in 1977). My love for the field of cardiology grows as our knowledge of medications, devices and lifestyle rapidly advances. Diseases that were a death sentence 40 years ago have become highly treatable and I now have many patients that continue to thrive well into their 90s. Open surgery is becoming replaced by less invasive procedures including coronary artery stents and endovascular valve repair and replacement. And of course, when a patient’s disease continues to progress, the gift of a new heart from a donor can add many years of quality life to an otherwise terminal patient.
I met Denise Redeker when I spoke at a woman’s heart disease fundraiser. Her personal story and movement inspired me. I did not realize the often prohibitive costs that patients accrue while living near the major transplant hospitals in San Francisco and Palo Alto. It was an honor to join the board of the Heartfelt Help Foundation. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and staying active, trying new restaurants and running after my 2 year old nephew.
Denise, Jim, and Matthew Redeker
As beneficiaries of a life-saving transplant procedure we have an incredibly personal connection to the important of organ donation and transplant. Jim and Matthew are Denise’s main support personnel (in addition to her talented medical team). Together, we run Heartfelt Help and ensure that our efforts reduce the financial burden of receiving a transplant for as many recipients as possible.