Congenital Heart Disease is considered to be the most common birth defect and is a leading cause of birth-defect related deaths worldwide.
Despite the fact that CHD affects approximately 1.8 millions families in the U.S. alone, a relatively small amount of funding is currently available for parent/patient educational services, research and support.
The week of February 7-14th is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.
CHD Awareness week is an annual awareness effort to help educate the public about CHD. Participants include individuals, local support groups, national and local organization and congenital cardiology centers throughout the world.
Some great local organizations that YOU can become connected to learn more are:
Heart Heroes Inc
Midwest Heart Connection (Check out the video at the bottom of the page!!!!!)
Children's Hospital and Medical Center
Other things you can do to help spread awareness:
- Request a proclamation from your Governor and/or Local elected official(s), and try to arrange a public signing ceremony
- Help pass a bill for Pulse Ox Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease in your state.
- Use Social Media to inform people about CHD
- Add the CHD Awareness Week Banner to your website(s) and blogs
- Print and distribute CHD Awareness Week brochures in your community
- In SchoolsIn years past, several individuals worked with their child's school to hold a fund-raiser, plan educational activities, distribute CHD information brochures, make art/Valentine's Day projects for children/achd'ers in the hospital during CHD week, etc. Contact your school's principal to discuss ideas and get their approval.
- Contact your local media: TV News station, newspaper(s), and radio station(s)If you are planning an event, want to highlight your local and/or national organization, receive a proclamation, or have a compelling story you want told, call or email your 'pitch' to an editor or health reporter. Small local papers have been very receptive to these requests in years past, so give it a try! Please make sure that you have access to accurate and reliable facts before making the call.
- Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or online news outletExplain what CHD Awareness Week is, why it is important, and encourage readers to support your efforts in specific ways.
- BloggingCreate a blog or series of blogs during CHD Awareness Week to share your personal experiences, information about CHD (CDC/CHPHC), encourage your readers to support CHD related causes, etc.
- Plan a gathering of families and individuals affected by CHD in your community
- Contact your local Pediatric/Adult Congenital Cardiology centers to explore ways that you could work togetherMany hospitals/practices plan awareness and other activities during CHD Awareness Week. Speak with someone in Marketing or Public Relations to find out if they have plans to participate, and discuss ways that you could collaborate.
You can also Give Blood. did you know you can donate every 52 days? Did you know that 1 in 70 people will need blood at one time in their life.
And most importantly, you can PRAY. Pray for the children fighting the battle of CHD. Pray for strength, answers, love and patience for their families. Pray that research will help find a cause. Pray for the skilled hands of the cardiothoracic surgeons that fix our sons and daughters hearts. Pray, pray, pray.
If it wasn't for prayer (and Dr. Duncan's skilled hands :), our little heart man wouldn't be who he is today:
He has sure COME A LONG way since September 14, 2011