Team Ritter Mom-Daughter Pair Selling Non-slip Headbands to Raise Money for the John Ritter Foundation

UPDATE 9/11/13: THE HEADBANDS ARE SOLD OUT! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. Donations to support Beth and Aubrey’s efforts can be made through their Crowdrise fundraising page:

Beth Hook and Aubrey Pollesch are a mother and daughter teamed up to run the 2013 ING NYC Marathon on The John Ritter Foundation’s Team Ritter.  They have a great story to tell and are full of innovative ideas for raising funds to reach and exceed their $3,000 fundraising goal.  To support their cause, Beth’s other daughter, Allie, is making non-slip headbands and selling them for donations.  Please read the story Aubrey wrote about why Team Ritter is so important to their family and please consider ordering a headband (or two or four or more):

What if your knowledge could save someone’s life?

My mom and I are honored to be chosen as representatives of Team Ritter!  And, we are honored to use our love and passion for running to raise money for a cause dear to our hearts.  We would love nothing more than to raise further awareness about aortic health.  Why? Because the knowledge we had saved my dad’s life twice.  And, we would love to help save more lives. 

In 2005, after being teased for being the only man at his high school reunion without a grey hair and a beer belly, my dad had a seizure-like episode.  After spending days in the hospital and undergoing multiple tests my dad was sent home, unsure of what really happened.

We thank God for multiple things that happened.  First- that we had the knowledge of my grandmother’s death from an aneurysm in her fifties.  Although I never got to meet her, her death helped save my dad’s life.  Also, the knowledge that all of my grandmother’s siblings have suffered from aneurysms.  We are also very grateful that one person at the hospital happened to mention how my dad had some features of Marfan syndrome – something my parents had never heard of.

With this knowledge in hand and some helpful guidance by family friends (thanks, Eric and Rosie), my parents brought my dad’s test results to a specialist in Chicago.   It was there we learned that my dad needed immediate surgery to repair an aneurysm in his ascending aorta.  As a man in his forties with otherwise impeccable health – we thank God every day that we had the knowledge we had to advocate for my dad and push for more answers.

After a successful surgery, my dad continued to see a specialist who further studied our family history.  His 6 month checkups became routine and genetic testing determined he has Familial Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm/Dissection (FTAAD). Throughout my dad’s journey our eyes have been constantly opened to how little people know about aortic health!   In sharing my dad’s story, we are always sharing new information with people.  We have also learned that many people (even in the medical field) have no idea about the nature of aneurysms or how to treat people who are predisposed to having an aneurysm!  If my dad was sent home from the hospital with an aneurysm that needed immediate surgery, how many other people face that risk?

Fast forward to 2011 – what a big year for our family!  College graduation and a December 2011 wedding for me!  However, our little world turned upside down in October when my dad’s 6 month checkup revealed he had another aneurysm that needed immediate surgery!   It was very easy to be mad – why again?  Why now?  But, we were again reminded how blessed we were to have the knowledge of my dad’s family history and genetic disorder.  We were lucky.

So, December 17th came, and my dad rocked his role as father of the bride.  He was there to walk me down the aisle. He was there to give a toast before dinner.  And, he was there to do an awesome 7 minute daddy/daughter/bridesmaid break-out dance.  And – most were amazed to know that in just two weeks he would again be undergoing open heart surgery.

Every day we thank God for how the events played out for our family.  After two successful open heart surgeries, we are constantly thankful for the knowledge of our family medical history.  We are thankful that we quickly learned we needed to be my dad’s biggest advocates and make sure to share our story with everyone we can.  Knowledge is power, and it can save somebody’s life!

Please help us to spread the word.  Together, we can help raise awareness and save more lives like my dad’s!  Please support our efforts by purchasing a NO-slip sport headband – great for running and other activities.  They are super cute and comfortable!

We are requesting donations of $6.00 per headband or 2 for $10.00.  Larger donations are welcome also.  100% of the proceeds will go to the John Ritter Foundation to support aortic disease awareness and education activities and research being done by the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases.

NO MONEY will be sent to us.  All money will be entered as donations on our fundraising page on (see below).  If you are interested in purchasing a headband, please:

1.  Send an e-mail with your choice of headband(s) design (see picture above), name, and shipping address to  We will mail the headband(s) to you.

2.  After receiving your headband(s), please post your donation on our Crowdrise fundraising page:

Thank you – Beth Hook and Aubrey Pollesch

(Thank you to Allie Hook for making headbands for such an awesome cause.)





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