Facing a life-threatening ailment will give a person perspective. For Suns power forward Channing Frye, it’s a perspective that he now wants to share with everyone.
Diagnosed with an enlarged heart that prohibited him from playing basketball this season, the 6-11 Frye has been forced to do something that he hasn’t done for a long time: nothing. That’s because if Frye does too much, he could be endangering his life.
Besides spending loads of time with his family, occasionally hitting the links and practicing yoga, Frye’s seemingly infinite amount of downtime has caused him to reflect and reexamine his life. His new perspective forged by his health condition has led him to want to raise awareness about an issue that can often go undetected.
“I just got back from shoulder surgery and I had never felt better,” Frye said. “For me it was just shock and awe because I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me.
“I just want people and parents with kids playing sports to just get tested. It only takes 15 minutes.”
Frye, whose friend works for the apparel line, Sportique, sat down with the company to see if the two sides could help each other out. The Suns standout, who said that the shirts are so comfortable that it’s “like putting a rainbow on your body,” decided to team with the designers to launch “One Heart” t-shirts to make people more conscious of heart issues.
A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Frye Family Foundation, which will make people – especially young athletes – mindful of potential heart problems. While heart troubles can be triggered by cultural influences such as too much caffeine, lack of sleep, bad diet and overexertion at work, it’s the randomness in how it affected Frye that he wants people to become more educated about.
If an adult or kid is incredibly active, Frye believes that they should spend the extra 15 minutes and have an EKG performed. For Frye, it made all the difference.
“Even if we save one life because of this,” Frye said. “My job would be done.”