The Evolution of Gift of Life

The Evolution of Gift of Life.

We strive to become better

Gift of Life is a Rotarian-based organization that has evolved over the past 4 decades into a global network of caring.  Our traditional model for providing care to children with heart disease from emerging countries was to bring one child at a time to the United States for treatment.  For the first 30 years of our existence, this was our primary means of providing hope to children who were not able to receive treatment in their country of birth.

Although this remains an important part of the Gift of Life Global Network, we have now evolved, enabling us to help address the crisis that exists today for children with heart disease throughout the world who lack access to treatment.

Annually, 1.3 million children are born with a congenital heart defect and 93% are born into a country that cannot provide them care.

Gift of Life International has developed a criteria for the selection of countries which become our partners in developing sustainable pediatric cardiac programs.  This strategic approach allows for our global network to maximize its capacity to help children with heart disease.

While we still sponsor children for treatment in the United States and various other countries around the world, we have focused on strategically developing centers of excellence to treat children in their country and/or region of birth.

Reunion of our 10,000th GOL Recipient with our 1st GOL Recipient

Through our efforts to develop sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery, catheterization and aftercare programs, our global network of caring is providing hope and treatment to over 1,500 children each year.

Based on our 2016 survey of existing Gift of Life programs, over 27,600 children have now been treated through the Gift of Life global network over the past 4 decades.

Our Evolution

41 Years of providing hope to children with heart disease and healing little hearts around the world

1 in 100

This year, approximately 131 million children will be born. Statistically 1 in every 100 will have a congenital heart defect.


Strategy created to focus on developing sustainable pediatroc cardiac surgery, aftercare and catheterization programs in select countries.


In 2003, GOL was formed with the following Guiding Principles:

  • Develop new GOL programs
  • Maximize the capacity of existing GOL programs to help children
  • Develop partnership with like-minded, non- governmnetal organizations.
  • Tell the colloctive story of GOL programs

more than


Children Treated Annually

Throught Our Global Network of Caring


First - ever GOL recipient received second chance at life



Children Treated

From 78 Countries Across 5 Continents

In 2008, GOL global network clebrated saving our



1.3 Million

Each year, 1.3 million children are born with congenital heart disease, and 93% of them are born in a country that connot care for them.


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Our global
network consists of


Gift of Life programs