The Tesla Owners Club of East Bay (TOEB) is hosting a charity drive in honor of a club member who suddenly died from a rare heart condition, Myocarditis. Al Shen with TOEB told me that the 173-mile drive from San Francisco’s East Bay to South Lake Tahoe was something the club was hoping to do last year but plans had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Club member Chris Leveque suddenly died earlier in the Spring of 2021 and the club members decided to honor his life by including a charitable component in the drive.
“Chris was a recent college graduate of California Lutheran University and has recently earned his real estate license and was beginning his new career and had begun saving up for his own Tesla. So the heartbreaking tragedy hit home in many ways,” TOEB’s Al Shen told me.
“Once we heard about the tragic news regarding Chris’ life, we decided to go ahead and proceed with plans to do the drive but now added a charitable component as a special way to honor his life and that of his family, who are avid supporters of Tesla and our club community. Chris’ mother, Joyce, joined the club leadership just this January.”
Al told me that the Tesla Owners Club of Sacramento found out about the special charitable club drive and wanted to join in. They will be raising funds for a different charity, so there will be a total of two charities that will benefit from this drive.
The two charities that will benefit from the drive are The Myocarditis Foundation and Shriner’s Hospital of Sacramento.
The Myocarditis Foundation
Myocarditis is a rare form of heart disease that affects thousands of adults and children every year. The foundation is raising global awareness about the widely undiagnosed disease and hopes to assist with the scientific advancement of myocarditis medicine.
Shriner’s Hospital Sacramento
Shriner’s Hospital Sacramento provides highly specialized care and rehabilitation to children with congenital conditions and complex medical needs regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
To support the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, click here.
To support The Myocarditis Foundation, click here.
The event will take place on August 28, 2021. Click here to sign up.
Interview with Joyce, TOEB Member & Mother of Chris Leveque
Al explained to me that Joyce is very passionate about Tesla and dedicated to the club and serving the community. In the video below, the two of them are giving the backstory of the event.
In the video, Joyce explained that she’s been a big Tesla fan for many years and was excited when she got her first Tesla. She’s been a member of several clubs and forums. When she discovered TOEB, she was even more excited since it was local for her. She joined the leadership team of TOEB in January of this year and is having fun with her role. Then she talks about supporting The Myocarditis Foundation.
“We are supporting The Myocarditis Foundation in the hope of an effort to bring about awareness and education to the general public. The reason why is that my son, Christopher, was a part of our club. He’d come to the meetups with us and was saving for his first Tesla and was really excited to tell his friends every day, ‘I can’t wait until I get my Tesla!’
“In the spring and March, he had this really rapid heart palpitation. He ended up in the hospital. It hit fast and it hit sudden. And within two days, I had the worst tough decision of my life. I had to take him off of life support. The underlying condition was myocarditis in Chris’ case — he had a very rare form, giant cell myopathies. There was no indication, there was nothing leading up to it. It just hit fast and it hit sudden. And now he’s not here.”
Joyce shared that she appreciated that the club members would honor Chris with this drive.
“We don’t ever want to forget Chris’ life. He was an amazing, unique individual and I really appreciate this. Honoring his memory, honoring the great person that he was, and just keeping him alive in our hearts forever.”