About Us

In 2003, John Ritter — beloved actor, husband, father, and friend — was taken suddenly due to an acute thoracic aortic dissection which was tragically misdiagnosed.

Weeks after his death, his wife and fellow actor Amy Yasbeck founded The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health with a focused and urgent purpose to prevent unnecessary suffering caused by aortic dissection.


We exist to spread awareness of aortic health and prevent unnecessary suffering through genetic research, widespread education, and radical advocacy.

Every year, undiagnosed and misdiagnosed aortic dissections are responsible for a staggering number of tragically avoidable deaths.

Since losing John, I’ve devoted myself to shining a much-needed light on thoracic aortic disease. The John Ritter Foundation and I are committed to alleviating this unnecessary suffering caused by the devastating lack of aortic awareness.

—Amy Yasbeck


Research Grant Program

Since 2010 the John Ritter Foundation has provided funding and support for the John Ritter Research Program (JRRP), an independent research project conducted out of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston under the direction of Dr. Dianna Milewicz. The focus of JRRP is to discover more genes that cause thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection, understand the genetic and environmental risk factors for developing thoracic aortic disease, and collect data on other symptoms associated with thoracic aortic disease.

In recent years we have funded research projects relating to mental health and exercise in patients with and at risk for aortic dissection, priorities identified by the Aortic Dissection Collaborative for Patient-Centered Research at priorities of the aortic dissection patient community.

We welcome applications from academia and industry for projects that have the potential to make significant impact on clinical care and quality of life for people with or at risk for thoracic aortic dissection. Formal funding opportunities are posted here, however please contact us with proposals at any time.

The Faces of the John Ritter Foundation

Our team works endlessly to end the unnecessary suffering for those affected by thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection.

Become an #AortaSupporta

With your support, we’re able to fund the essential research needed to learn the causes of thoracic aortic disease so that we can prevent unnecessary loss.

We'd love to hear from you

For general inquiries and any other questions send us a message.