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By ACHA on 11/1/2013 1:42 PM

By Tony Cordaro

Anthony Cordaro, Jr., Karen Klein, and Bonnie Paulson were in their early twenties when they met via an internet listserv run by CHIN (Congenital Heart Information Network). Bonnie suggested that they put together a newsletter for the group. Karen had developed a website with information about CHD. Anthony developed the idea of combining Bonnie's newsletter idea with Karen's website to launch a nonprofit to accomplish the various ideas that they had been discussing.

Anthony enlisted me, his dad, and, Karen enlisted her mother, Mary Kay, as well as her college friend Kimberly Ochs, to assist from a business acumen, structure, and advisory capacity. ACHA was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) to serve the needs of the growing number of adults with CHD. The six of us were the organization’s first officers and Board of Directors. We wrote the bylaws and began setting goals and expectations of the group well beyond a simple informative newsletter.