WAUKESHA, Wis. - Saving lives one test at a time. After losing their son to an undiagnosed heart condition, a Waukesha family is hosting an EKG testing event for the second year in a row.
Kai Lermer was an active, three-sport athlete before he suddenly passed away due to sudden cardiac arrest.
"Since Kai passed away in April 2019 I'm aware of six cases of sudden cardiac arrests in southeastern Wisconsin. Of those, only two survived. You think it can't happen to your child, it can," said Michael Lermer, Kai's dad.
The Lermer family's tragedy turned into a mission – the Kia 1-1 SAVE-A-HEART MISSON – just so other families could avoid the same heartbreak.
"Last year, we tested 200 students and we had one child who had Wolff-Parkinson-White disease – which is what Kai passed away from," said Lermer.
This year, they've expanded their testing from 200 to 500 local high school athletes. It's an opportunity Pewaukee senior Ethan Reynolds hopes all of his teammates take advantage of.
"Hopefully I"m doing perfectly fine. I'm hoping all my teammates are going to be fine too because I don't want that to happen to anybody else," said Ethan Reynolds, Pewaukee High School senior.
But the mission doesn't stop at Monday's event – they also have a bill called the AB82 or the Kai 1-1 Bill – that would allow EKG testing and heart condition education to be available for all students in Wisconsin.
"Make sure parents are informed about the potential risks and the potential for getting EKG testing to just check and make sure," said Scott Allen State Representative.
As the mission grows, the Lermer's message to their son still stands.
"We miss you Kai. Miss your #11. Fly high," said Michael Lermer.
The hope is that the AB82 Bill is passed by next spring and those with Kai Lermer Memorial Fund hope to have the public's support.