Sunday, February 6, 2011

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

Tomorrow kicks off Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week. I've been a strong advocate for congenital heart defect awareness for a while now. A congenital heart defect is an abnormality in any part of the heart that is present at birth. Heart defects originate in the early weeks of pregnancy when the heart is forming. According to the March of Dimes, congenital heart defects are the #1 birth defect. In the US alone, over 25,000 babies are born each year with a congenital heart defect. That translates to 1 out of every 115 to 150 births. However, advances in diagnosis and surgical treatment have led to dramatic increases in survival for children with serious heart defects. In the United States, about 1.4 million children and adults live with congenital heart defects today.

One very important thing to note in regards to funding, etc with The American Heart Association. Out of all the donations they receive annually, only $.30 of every dollar goes towards research for congenital heart defects. The remainder goes towards administration, education, and fundraising. From that $.30, only $.01 goes towards pediatric cardiology and the research necessary to learn more about congenital heart defects. Nearly twice as many children die from congenital heart defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined, you would think there would be not only more awareness, but more research and funding.

In honor of my friends, Lauren, Bekah, and Amy, I'm going show my support, especially this week by helping spread the word on how important congenital heart defect awareness is. With their permission, I will be sharing each of their stories on how their families has been affected by such a devastating condition.

During Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, I'm going to be changing my Facebook picture to the Congenital Heart Defect Awareness ribbon. I want to also challenge each and every one of you to do the same. Feel free to use this image to show your support:

At the end of this week, I will be donating to the Columbus, Ohio chapter of It's My Heart. It's My Heart is a non-profit organization created to provide support to and advocating for those affected by Acquired and Congenital Heart Defects. I will be donating in memory of Caleb Thomas who lost his life after three precious days from multiple congenital heart defects.

Please help by showing your support by spreading the word!

Important Links:
American Heart Association
March of Dimes
It's My Heart

1 comment:

  1. Aww love this post! :) Donating in Caleb's name is so sweet, and makes me smile as the tears fall down my face. I am so lucky we are friends.