Press Release for download

August 2, 2010

Rino’s Heart

A brave little boy’s story

 Rino Mangon Vogt is just 10 years old. He’s a polite young man, friendly and intelligent, with a direct, alert gaze. But now that gaze has been softened. There’s a knowing edge to it that is older than his years. He now knows why he’s no longer allowed to practice Tae Kwon Do or to scramble around the football field. He’s learned to keep all that boyish energy in check. Because he now understands that he could easily die suddenly from a fall or a misplaced kick.

Rino is suffering from a rare and congenital heart condition known as  Ebstein’s Anomaly. This is present at birth but can show itself at any time, even into adulthood. The fault lies within the valves of the heart. A healthy heart pumps the blood steadily around the body. Rino’s heart does not. One of the internal valves is faulty. It’s enlarged, in the wrong position and is leaking blood back into the heart again. Left untreated his weakened heart will degenerate and form blood clots, giving rise to strokes, tissue damage in the heart and lead to eventual death.

This campaign is, literally, heartfelt. It’s the mission of one man, Rino’s father – musician, songwriter and film-maker – Ritchie Newton. But he is not alone. In the few short weeks since his son was diagnosed with this rare heart condition Ritchie has become energised into action. He is not going to let this happen. Ritchie is spending 18 hours a day visiting people, companies, agencies and the media. He has formed a working trust with certified integrity to handle donations and merchandise. He is organising sponsorships, performances and events. He is using every ounce of his love, passion and energy to save Rino. And he’s asking for your help.

The immediate target is two million Thai baht. That’s 62,000 US Dollars, 50,000 Euros or 42,000 British Pounds. This is the hard cash price of the open-heart surgery and the aftercare that will need to follow. These are the numbers that govern whether Rino lives or dies. This is the sum that Ritchie Newton is determined to raise.

Already donations are arriving. There are sponsors who have presented the trust with free five-star breaks, gourmet dinners, flights and packages and luxury goods which will be auctioned or raffled. Community events are being planned, culminating in an all-day family music festival on 24th October titled Rock4Rino. Expect to see some big names there – Ritchie has the contacts and has already approached Thai rock legend Ed Carabao along with Job 2 Do. Also Ritchie has bared his soul and written the ‘anthem’ of the moment, the signature theme song, “Together We Are Strong”. It is being recorded, complete with children’s choir, and will soon be available on CD, as well as performed live as the finale of Rock4Rino. This event will feature an afternoon of fun for all the family and an evening of serious rock and roll. But then, all of it is serious. No matter what fun people have along the way, this is to save a life. Rino’s life. And Ritchie can’t do it without help.

Visit the website http://www.rinosheart.com for all the background information. And then follow the link to the NEWSBLOG to see the latest events, progress and updates. We need YOU to reach our target so please let us know if you can help in any way at all. Remember – there’s a life depending on it.