The Bakken Invitation Award recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism, and leadership. Each year, selected Honorees earn a $20,000 grant from the Medtronic Foundation to direct to a charity of their choice.
"ALL CULTURES CAN UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE."
Diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease, Bhim had open heart surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. Immediately after surgery, he began working to help others with heart conditions.
Nepal Heart Foundation
Prince Edward (Wellington), Canada
"WEARING A BURDEN WITH HUMOR CAN INSPIRE OTHERS."
David has lived with Parkinson's disease for more than 20 years, devoting his time and energy to helping other Parkinson's patients.
Parkinson Society Canada
"PAY IT FORWARD."
Now living a healthy, normal life after treating Barrett's esophagus, Juan spends his time raising awareness for that condition in Spain, while also leading efforts to provide housing for foster children.
Asociación de Enfermos de Esófago de Barrett de España (ASENBAR)
Orono, Minnesota, United States
Sudden Cardiac Arrest due to a heart defect
"WORK HARD AT CREATING GOODNESS."
Lisa suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at the age of 26. An SCA survivor, she has volunteered time helping serve the Minneapolis homeless community.
Temple Israel's Committee to End Homelessness
Type 1 Diabetes
"YOU ARE NOT ALONE."
Qi was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was only seven years old. She now works as a pediatric technician and volunteers to help others prevent and control the disease.
Beijing Diabetes Prevention and Control Association
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Type 1 Diabetes
"LOVE IS A POWERFUL REMEDY THAT EVERYONE CAN SHARE."
Sheila has lived with type 1 diabetes for 30 years, but has not let that stop her from helping children diagnosed with cancer and serious blood conditions.
Casa de Apoio à Criança com Câncer São Vicente de Paulo
Damaged heart valves due to Rheumatic Heart Disease
"TREATMENT IS A MIRACLE."
At just 16 years old, Thomas received a double heart valve replacement as a result of rheumatic heart disease. Today he is a cardiologist who works tirelessly to prevent and treat RHD.
Uganda Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry
Sacramento, California, United States
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Type 2
"WHEN YOU THINK YOU CAN'T, MAYBE YOU ALREADY HAVE."
Twinkle was diagnosed in 2003 with this painful, debilitating and often progressive central nervous system disorder. She now advocates for policy changes and patient support efforts that address chronic pain.
Power of Pain Foundation
Cardiac Arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation
"NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS, NO MATTER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES."
Tanya was born with a hole in her heart and a heart murmur. Frustrated with the lack of cardiac patient support groups in Australia, she founded a patient serving organization.
Check out how these incredible individuals have used their extra lives with the help of medical technology.
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Share your story with us, and show the world how you are making a difference. For every story, the Medtronic Foundation will donate $10 to Project HOPE.