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Music For Hearts In Yunnan Province, China

LOS ANGELES, April 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What does a child prodigy do a few years after all the hoopla has died down? Marc Yu's answer is, "You know about fame, hard work, and the business dimension. But this is all mixed up with idealism because of your age and because of the nature of music. Or, at least, that's how it worked out for me." Marc, now 14, attends school and continues his musical studies while continuing his commitment to making the world a better place. He started humanitarian activities during his child prodigy days by doing charity fundraisers. While he can reminisce about being on the front page of the LA Times when he was six, or playing for Ellen, Leno and Oprah, and giving concerts for the BBC Proms, he also remembers being able to move people to unselfishly open their wallets for good causes. "Without this, music loses something special – people pay money so musicians can play music so people can pay money... Music becomes another business on a planet full of businesses, and here we are today: in trouble." To Marc, music should explode this cycle, as in the 60's when rock bands led a generation to stop the Vietnam War. "It is not hard to find good causes if you steer clear of the Trending Now! and the stream of advertising."

This summer Marc will merge his idealism with that of Dr. Robert Detrano (UC Irvine) and China California Heart Watch ( China Cal), a non-profit providing free heart care to the rural people of Yunnan, China's second poorest province. Fund-raising is essential for providing grants to children born with heart problems that would be fatal if left untreated. Marc will be joining one of several intern teams that travel to remote towns and villages where they listen to children's hearts to detect the rhythmic swish-swishes that doctors call heart murmurs. Aside from cardiologist-supervised heart screenings of schoolchildren, interns also help record medical histories, measure heart rate and blood pressure, and assist in ultrasound examinations. China Cal's work has resulted in over 100 children born with congenital heart defects obtaining life-saving surgery, hundreds of villagers receiving treatment for high blood pressure and heart disease, and over 2000 village doctors being trained in the detection and treatment of heart disease and hypertension. China Cal's interns are college or medical students drawn by the opportunity to work hands-on with the medically-underserved of rural China, and gain awareness of the problems of healthcare there (described on their website www.chinacal.org).

When he returns to the US, Marc will be doing fewer ultrasounds and more fundraisers, with several concerts planned to raise awareness and funds. Marc knows music will lend drama, urgency, and brotherhood to the cause of fixing congenitally broken hearts.

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