The Daniel Project honors one of Birmingham's beloved, Daniel Naim Ajlouny, whose genetic heart condition led to his untimely death at the young age of 21.
The goal of our project is to prevent sudden and early deaths in young adults by educating the community on the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which typically go misdiagnosed, as well as to fund screenings for individuals who exhibit HCM symptoms.
THE DANIEL PROJECT
A LIFE SAVING ENDEAVOR OF THE PAUL MEYERS FOUNDATION
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic condition in which the muscle of the heart is abnormally large in the absence of an apparent cause.
HCM is a relatively common, genetic condition that claims 1 out of every 500 people. The main feature of HCM is an excessive thickening of the heart muscle without an obvious cause.
HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in the young, including young athletes. Each year approximately125-200 athletes will die, and 1/3 will have HCM.
Daniel Naim Ajlouny was a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin and a friend. Family was an important extension of himself. To all, he was a quiet spoken young man, speaking only when he thought necessary and relevant.
From the time Daniel was born, he loved the outdoors; more at home with nature than anywhere. At an early age, he began honing his hunting, fishing and snow skiing skills. His idea for his thirteenth birthday party was going on a guided bass fishing trip with his Dad, his brother Chase and cousins. Daniel took midterm exams early in high school, so he and his Dad could go deer and bird hunting before the Christmas holidays began. Every school break, plus any other time he could squeeze in, was spent in the mountains snow skiing with his family--his ultimate passion .
Daniel was a member of the 2004 inaugural graduation class of Spain Park High School. In January of 2005, he enrolled at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Daniel and Chase were always the adventurous types. From tree houses, rope swings and ziplines in the back yard graduating on to traveling the world together; the two never met a challenge they did not feel as if they could conquer. While in college, Chase and Daniel enrolled in the Consortium of Universities for International Studies in Paderno, Italy. Five months and six countries later, Daniel returned home to Hoover only to move to Leadville, Colorado. Again, the great outdoors was calling. He wanted to live and work in the west to fish the streams, enjoy the Rockies and ski all winter.
Daniel passed away on October 27,2007. The sheer numbers of well wishers and broken-hearted friends was astonishing and heartwarming. This reserved "on the surface" young man had profoundly and quietly touched so many lives in his short time on earth. A close family friend presented our family with a plaque upon his untimely passing. It summed up our Daniel's life perfectly.
"IT'S not the YEARS in your LIFE that count, IT'S the LIFE in your YEARS"