X-Ray Mag: Diveheart Malaysia Making Waves and Expanding

X-Ray Mag: Diveheart Malaysia Making Waves and Expanding

Diveheart Malaysia has been making waves since the organization started regular, monthly, in-pool scuba training programs for persons with disabilities (PWD) trained by Diveheart Ambassador and funder and director of Kids Scuba Malaysia, Syed And Rahman, who worked closely with the rehabilitation unit for spinal cord injury (SCI) patients of the University of Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) in Kuala Lumpur.

Download PDF file of this article

WGN-TV9: Local Veteran Brings Sea Statue to America – Finally Sees It

WGN-TV9: Local Veteran Brings Sea Statue to America – Then Finally Sees It


It’s one of the most popular underwater tourist attractions in the world, a 9 foot statue of Christ located just below the ocean in the Florida Keys.

The 400 pound bronze statue of Christ was a gift from the Italians to American divers.

But it was a Korean War veteran from Chicago who was instrumental in delivering the statue to its permanent home.

Gabriel Spataro is one of Chicago’s Very Own.


See full article and watch video on WGN-TV website

Diving for Therapy – TEDx Naperville – Jim Elliott of Diveheart

Diving for Therapy – TEDx Naperville – Jim Elliott of Diveheart

After leaving a successful career in the media industry in 1996, Jim Elliot became a full-time volunteer by founding Diveheart, a not-for-profit that helps build confidence and independence in individuals through scuba diving. Jim’s inspiration came from his daughter who was blind from birth, and developed tremendous self-confidence after learning how to downhill ski. Passionate about scuba diving since the 1970’s Jim decided to replicate his daughter’s experience, but in the forgiving weightless environment underwater which provides perfect buoyancy and balance to individuals who might otherwise struggle on land.



Dive Into Life (WVOX Radio) – Diveheart Radio Interview

Diveheart (with featured guest Rosemary Ciotti) – Radio Interview

Dive Into Life (WVOX Radio)

“Dive Into Life” is live every Thursday from 4-5 PM on 1460AM and worldwide at WVOX.COM. Join us and explore our deep “dives” into all that is life!

Listen at Dive Into Life/WVOX Radio site.

Diveheart offers people with disabilities life-changing experiences

Diveheart offers people with disabilities life-changing experiences

by Carole Jakucs, BSN, RN, PHN

Diveheart offers people with disabilities life-changing experiences

Rosemary Ciotti, MSN, RN, NP, knows firsthand what it’s like to live with a disability.

Several years ago at the age of 37, the avid biker, skier and competitive swimmer suddenly became wheelchair-bound. She was diagnosed with an undefined autoimmune disease that caused her to lose the use of her right leg and lose strength in her right arm and fingers.

“This was a great loss for me given that I was so active in sports,” said Ciotti, a disability healthcare consultant and case manager and disability activist in Arlington, Va.


But then she discovered Diveheart and her life changed again.

Rosemary Ciotti, MSN, RN, a disability healthcare consultant and case manager and disability activist based in Arlington, Va., who herself became a wheelchair a few years ago, goes diving with friend Jeannette Green, who Ciotti inspired to get certified with Diveheart.

Rosemary Ciotti, RN, a disability healthcare consultant, case manager and disability activist in Arlington, Va., dives with Diveheart participant and friend Jeannette Green.

With a goal of building confidence and independence among veterans, children and adults with disabilities through scuba therapy, Diveheart uses an innovative and exciting method to temporarily decrease pain and help patients with disabilities increase their self-esteem. The Downers Grove, Ill., organization is making waves — in the most positive sense — in several states.

Ciotti was inspired to try scuba diving after learning about U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s use of the therapy.

Read full article on Nurse.com website

Download the PDF file

VoyageLA: Meet Jim Elliott (interview)

Meet Jim Elliott of Diveheart

Voyage LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Elliott.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The Diveheart vision was inspired by Jim Elliott’s blind daughter in the mid-1980s. Elliott, founder and president of Diveheart, witnessed how downhill skiing changed his daughter’s life and inspired his friends without disabilities to take on new challenges in their lives.

As a diver since 1976, Elliott realized that scuba diving was the only physical activity that could provide a “gravity-free” environment while offering an exciting and adventurous experience for those with physical and cognitive disabilities. He knew that the confidence and independence his daughter developed through skiing could be replicated many times over with children, adults and veterans of all abilities through scuba diving.

Elliott began teaching adaptive scuba in 1997 and incorporated Diveheart as a volunteer, not-for-profit organization in 2001. Jim, through Diveheart, has lead the way in helping to pioneer adaptive scuba training, research, rehabilitation, education and promotion around the world. In addition to his work in almost two hundred cities throughout the U.S., this also has included working in China, Australia, Israel, the UK, and throughout the Caribbean and South-East Asia.

Throughout its existence, Diveheart has developed adaptive scuba programs for such organizations as the Shiners Hospital for Children, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Hines Veterans Hospital and many other organizations around the United States and the world. Appreciating the need to update and improve upon adaptive scuba training programs and to share the best training practices in use, Diveheart became an adaptive scuba training agency in 2014 and has developed proprietary standards for instructors and qualified divers interested in adaptive diving.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As a volunteer, not-for-profit organization, we face the challenging task of keeping all of our volunteers engaged and active, regardless of their location, role and level of ability. We also endeavor to grow that all-important base, allowing us to maintain the safety standards we’ve set for providing the life-changing scuba experience to a growing number of adaptive divers. Fundraising is a continuing challenge – we rely on the generosity of donors for use of facilities, scuba gear, training trips to warm-water locations for adaptive dive students.

Read full article & interview on VoyageLA website

Download the PDF file of this article

Suburban diving program gives veterans pain relief, teamwork

Suburban diving program gives veterans pain relief, teamwork

By Marie Wilson, Daily Herald

Army veteran Kirk Williams knows the benefits of scuba diving through a nonprofit organization called Diveheart. So does Coast Guard veteran Kevin Cozzie.

“The weightlessness kind of helps my body release itself,” Cozzie said. “I can feel it when I get out of the water.”

Both feel pain relief and stress relief from the high-skill water activity that also gives them connections with other veterans that are so intrinsic in the military and so sorely lacking in the civilian world.

“It’s the camaraderie,” Cozzie said. “That’s the thing I find most veterans miss.”

Cozzie, who works as outreach coordinator at the Aurora Vet Center, has gone diving five times, and Williams, of Warrenville, has been diving for five years. But both get to help newbies such as Army veteran Matt Woodin of Plano, even as they experience the benefits of scuba themselves. That’s what keeps Williams coming back.

“It’s just the people, really,” Williams said. “People that have a true love for the sport.”

Such is the beauty of the Diveheart SCUBA Experience, which takes small groups of up to six people with disabilities at a time for two-hour excursions in pools at recreation centers, universities and hotels, said Jim Elliott, Diveheart’s founder and president.

A subset of the Downers Grove-based organization founded in 2001, called Diveheart Military Wounded, it focuses on providing the physical benefits (water pressure, weightlessness) and mental benefits (learning new skills, gaining confidence) to former military members whose service left them disabled.

See full article on Daily Herald site.

Download the PDF file of this article.

Diveheart’s Jim Elliott on Steve Cochran Show (WGN Radio)

Diveheart: Diveheart works to build confidence, independence and self-esteem in children, adults and veterans of all abilities through scuba diving, scuba therapy and related activities.

Diveheart’s founder, Jim Elliot, joins the Steve Cochran Show to talk about the incredible things that they are doing at Diveheart.

See full article on WGN Radio site.