Our Story

We Are Stronger Together

In June of 2018 a new friendship was forged when Donna Detwiler reached out to Bjørn-Arild Woll (BA for short) with regard to his nonprofit association A Heart Of Gold.

BA lives in Norway and Donna is originally from the UK but has lived in the USA since 1997.

Their personal experiences with loved ones being tragically effected by heart disease and sudden cardiac arrest led to a common bond and a deep passion to alleviate the suffering and help prevent people dying prematurely.

BA was 22 years old when he lost his father to a heart attack; his father was only 50 years old. BA also lost his grandfather to a sudden cardiac arrest, his grandfather was only 53 years old. "Losing your father and caregiver at a young age has a profound impact on you" states BA.

It was this experience, and reaching the same age as his Father and Grandfather which motivated him to make a difference. His experience led him to launch the Heart Of Gold Association on April 1, 2018 in Norway.

Donna Detwiler has experienced first hand the affects of cardio vascular disease and what it means to receive the news that a loved one has been rushed to the hospital, due to a sudden and unexpected heart attack.

Donna received that call in September of 2017 when her Mum, who lives in the UK, was rushed to the hospital due to a sudden heart attack. Fortunately she made it to the hospital in time, where she received three lifesaving stents.  Donna's Mum was fortunate when she survived the initial attack. Both her Mum, and Donna, are eternally grateful to have been given more time, to share in the many experiences that otherwise they would have lost.

Donna has witnessed the fear and anxiety that both the person suffering from cardio vascular disease experiences, as well as the impact to their loved ones.

This inspiration, shared experiences, and a passion to make a difference in peoples lives led to the formation of the Spera Foundation USA.

The Foundation has been established to expand this important life saving work, first initiated in Norway, to America.

Meet Our Team

Board of Directors


Bjorn-Arild Woll (BA)

Co-Founder Chairman of the Board

BA has a background in business, finance and philanthropy, and provides the foundation with a broad set of skills to assist in the success of our purpose. 
His passion to help save more lives from cardiac arrest is founded in his own personal experience. BA was 22 years old when he lost his father to a heart attack - his father was only 50 years old and also lost his grandfather who was only 53 years old. 
BA is also the co-founder of the Heart of Gold Association, an organization based in Norway to save more lives from cardiac arrest. 

Donna Detwiler

Co-Founder Board President and CEO

Donna Detwiler is the Founder and Co-Founder of several successful for-profit businesses both in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America. Donna served as CEO and successfully led those companies through varying stages of inception, growth, profitability and sale. 
In addition, Donna’s philanthropic work includes fundraising for non-profits in her early twenties and assisting non-profits through her own company’s giving back program. 
In 2017, Donna's mother was rushed to hospital suffering from a near fatal heart attack. Donna witnessed the fear and anxiety that the person suffering from cardio vascular disease experiences. Her first-hand experience with cardio vascular disease and its effect on loved ones inspired Donna to help save more lives.  
Headshot Small 09292016

Rick Detwiler

Co-Founder Secretary and CTO

Rick Detwiler is currently a Senior Director at Oracle Corporation. He manages a large core technology solutions portfolio for manufacturing industries across North America.
His commitment to supporting the organization's mission comes from his own family’s prolific affliction of heart disease resulting in cardiac arrest. He tragically lost his mother to cardiac arrest in 2011, and witnessed the effect of heart disease through the loss of his  grandparents, aunts and uncles and helping his father through quadruple bypass surgery.  

Gayle Chait

Board Director and Treasurer

Gayle Chait has an extensive background in business finance, having worked for non-profit and for-profit organizations. She had previously held the position of Treasurer at the non-profit Project SEEK, for four years.

In the for-profit sector she held the position of Bookkeeper for 10 years at the California based company, Dog Is Good.

Gayle's commitment to the Organization and passion for saving more lives from sudden cardiac arrest is rooted in a number of her family members practicing in the medical profession.

Jeff Illeck

Jeffrey Illeck, M.D.

Board Director and Medical Director

Dr. Illeck, M.D. received his medical degree from New Jersey Medical School in 1988. He then moved to California to complete his residency in OB/GYN at Cedars Sinai Center in Los Angeles. In 1993, after a year of private practice in LA, Dr. Illeck moved his practice to Huntington Beach, and now currently practices at the Hoag Hospital. 
He also affiliated with Hoag Hospitals in Orange County and Newport Beach. 
Dr. Illeck is passionate about providing comprehensive healthcare and strives to make a lasting impression in his patients' lives, from their teenage years well into their later years. 
His knowledge and understanding of Heart Disease and its status as a leading cause of death for women, drives him to assist the Organization. 
Dr. Illeck provides direction for preventative education and assists the Organization in the management and execution of its community cardiac arrest response program. 

Outside Consultants


May L. Harris, Esq., M.A.

Outside Legal Council, For Purpose Law Group

May L. Harris is For Purpose Law Group’s founder and managing attorney. She has over twenty years of executive, development, and leadership experience within the nonprofit sector and within socially innovative businesses.



Roger Hillard

Master CPR/AED/First AID Instructor

Owner at Your OSHA Trainer


SD headshot

Sarah Davidson, Esq.

Grant Writer and Community Out Reach Director

This is for you. For your family. For your neighbors. Faster Response Times for Cardiac Emergencies.

Having a defibrillator nearby could save the life of someone you know. Empower your community today.

Scroll to Top