Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation

Family impacted by Greg Olsen’s HEARTest Yard fund sad to see him leave the Panthers

A family who received assistance from Greg Olsen’s Heartest Yard fund is sad to see the veteran tight end part ways from the Carolina Panthers.

Frank and Aimee Cantadore’s daughter Macie was diagnosed with a heart defect at birth. It was a similar diagnosis Olsen received when his son T.J. was born in 2012.

“She has her left ventricle, rather than her right ventricle working,” Aimee Cantadore explained.

The Cantadores were nervous. They found out 24 hours after their daughter was born, she would need three heart surgeries. She underwent her first surgery a week later.

They found comfort knowing Greg Olsen’s son received treatment at the same facility Macie was getting her care.

“T.J. had his surgeries right here in Charlotte. So, you know you got a celebrity trusting the doctors at Levine [Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital], so that gave us good peace of mind knowing she was in the right hands,” Frank Cantadore said.

More than just comfort, the Cantadore’s were given free in-home nursing after Macie’s first and second surgeries thanks to Olsen’s Heartest Yard fund, which is part of Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation.

“We would have looked into it, but just financially it would not have been an option for us,” Aimee Cantadore said. “So we truly are blessed.”

The Cantadores have become big fans of the Olsen family, thanks to their work with heart families. They say there were sad to hear the news of Olsen parting ways with the Carolina Panthers.

“Reading his response and his posts and how he dealt with it, it just kind of shows you the class act that Greg Olsen is,” Frank Cantadore said. “He’s really created a community here in Charlotte around this defect they were born with.”

In May 2019, the Olsen Foundation donated $2.5 million to Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital to build a pediatric cardiovascular and congenital heart defect outpatient clinic.

The Olsen Family launched the HEARTest Yard Fund in to help other families whose children suffer from heart defects.