When Karalie and Jeremy DeLuca lost their daughter to a congenital heart defect 11 years ago, they knew they wanted to do something to ensure fewer parents would have to experience the same heartache.

Jayden was born with a single-ventricle heart and underwent two open-heart surgeries, stomach surgery, and countless tests and procedures during her two and a half years of life. She passed away on February 27, 2007.

Her death catalyzed her parents’ desire to help other children affected by pediatric heart conditions and their families. Karalie and Jeremy founded the Jayden DeLuca Foundation in 2008 to honor their daughter and support research projects that will help with detection and treatment of cardiac diseases in children, including congenital heart defects (CHD). With no known cause or treatment, congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in America, affecting 1 in 110 children each year. “It is the goal of the foundation to help find a cause and help further this research along so that we can help children and families going through similar circumstances,” Karalie says.

Three years ago, the Jayden DeLuca Foundation, which is based in Eagle, Idaho, partnered with Children’s Hospital Colorado—one of the nation’s leading research facilities—to raise money and awareness for research and treatment of pediatric heart disease.

On April 14, the foundation and the Children’s Hospital will host the third Jayden DeLuca Foundation Rocky Mountain Masquerade Ball at the Westin Denver Downtown. The ball will feature a live auction, a magician, photo booths, and games, as well as food and cocktails. Last year, the event raised $75,000, and this year they hope to reach $100,000.

“We are excited to bring the event to the Denver area again—we love coming here,” Karalie says. “The people are amazing and so generous. It’s always so much fun and, of course, for such a great cause. The research being done at Children’s Colorado is top notch and we are thrilled and honored to be a part of it.”

If you go: The Jayden DeLuca Foundation Masquerade Ball will take place at the Westin Denver Downtown on Saturday, April 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.

Victoria Carodine
Victoria Carodine
Victoria Carodine is a Denver-based writer and a former editor on 5280's digital team.