Red Prince Apple supports the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation

At Red Prince Apples we proudly and strongly support the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation. We’d like to share a personal story and the biggest reason why we, the Botden family and Red Prince Apples as a company, are one-hundred percent behind the organization and everything they do.

My name is Irma, and my husband Marius and I are co-owners and operators of Red Prince Apples, and this is our daughter Sacha’s story.

When we began our journey of growing the heart-healthy Red Prince Apple, we had no idea what special significance this fruit would hold in our family’s heart in the years to come. On July 21st 1992, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our world; Sacha. Being ecstatic parents, we were devastated to find out that little Sacha had a heart murmur. After many tests, the doctors were able to discover that she suffered from VSD. In other words, Sacha had a hole in the wall that separates the two lower chambers of her heart. The size of the hole was so large that too much blood was being pumped to her lungs; this would eventually lead to Sacha’s heart failing. Because of her condition, Sacha faced other obstacles such as insufficient weight gain, and therefore needed to adopt strict care plans that would allow her to be strong enough to endure the vigorous open-heart surgery. Finally, at 5 months old, Sacha was strong enough to under-go the invasive surgery.

Like any parents would be, we were nervous and scared but remained hopeful as we waited for news regarding our baby girl. Hours passed and finally the doctors were able to tell us what we had desperately been longing to hear – they were able to place a patch over the hole, consequently preventing any further problems. Sacha was going to make it. Soon after the surgery, the changes were obvious. Sacha had energy and, not to mention, a newfound appetite! We were finally able to stop worrying and start looking forward to the promising future our family now had.

Sacha is now 22 and attending Algonquin College here in Canada, where she is pursuing her dreams of striving to make the lives of others better through physical activities – especially the lives of children. She loves exploring the beautiful Canadian landscapes by canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and ice climbing. In case you couldn’t tell already, she loves living an active life and keeping her heart healthy. We, at Red Prince Apples, share her passion for heart health. We are so grateful that our daughter was able to overcome her illness and that we are able to watch her grow and become the woman she is meant to be.

However, we are not the only family who has had to face this incredibly difficult experience. While treatment and outcome for young heart patients is much better than it was a decade ago, there are still families who are not as fortunate as we were. It is certainly no easy ride. So Marius, myself, and Red Prince Apples want to share our story of hope, and our hearts, with those who may be finding themselves in this position today.

When we immigrated to Canada in 2001 with our four children, we brought the exclusive growing rights of the Red Prince Apple to the country, knowing that – no matter what – we would strive to give back and make a difference.

Now, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

All you have to do to help, is post a picture and we’ll take care of the rest.  From now until the end of April, when you take a picture with a Red Prince Apple and upload it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, using #PicPrince2Give, we will donate $1 to the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation. Show your support, and help us show ours. Let’s encourage hope for those who are in the position that we found ourselves in 22 years ago. Together, you and Red Prince Apples can make a difference; show how big & healthy your heart is.


(Marius and Sacha) Taken one day after surgery at Sophia Children’s Hospital Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

(Sacha) Backpacking to the Summit of Phelps Mountain in Essex County, New York.