Tuesday, February 1, 2011

American Heart Month

Today, February 1st, begins the month that every President for the past 47 years has proclaimed as "American Heart Month".

(You can read President Obama's proclamation for 2011 here.)

In addition to this, many states have also declared February 7th-14th as being Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week. North Carolina's governor signed the proclamation for 2010, and I'm currently awaiting her response for this year.

(If you live in NC and have not yet contacted Gov. Perdue about proclaiming Feb. 7-14, 2011 as CHD Awareness Week, this link will walk you through it.)

This year, I even stepped it up a notch and contacted our mayor about declaring the same for our city. Seeing as how there was a city council meeting tonight, and I just sent the request yesterday, I'm not sure that we'll make it this year. But, there's always 2012!

Y'all know what fuels my fire. Even if you just started reading here yesterday, you know that my life revolves around one of the most perfectly broken hearts. We were sent into a world I had very little knowledge of until March 8th, 2009. It has been a beautiful disaster, at its finest, and it has become my mission to make sure the world knows what these awful heart defects are doing to our babies.

In the year 2011 in the United States of America, I should NOT be reading articles like this. Babies should NOT be sent home from hospitals without first being evaluated for hidden heart defects. I don't even want to go there, to think about how different our lives may be right now if it hadn't been for our nurse wrapping a bandaid-like sticker around Ethan's toe.

That was all it took. A simple piece of sticky fabric told us that something was terribly wrong. A painless test, and a perceptive nurse, essentially saved my child's life. Did I ever think we would be one of "those families"? No way!

But, here we are. We are that family, and Ethan is one of those heart babies. He is one out of a hundred who was born with a CHD; one of the 40,000 who was born in the United States in 2009. He is a fighter in every sense of the word, and we are all stronger for it.

Please take a moment this month, and especially next week, to do your part to raise awareness. Do something as simple as changing your profile picture on Facebook, or wearing red in honor of a loved one.

Maybe you'll feel inspired to do more; like, donate to the Children's Heart Foundation, the only organization that was created to exclusively fund congenital heart defect research, or to send a care package to the nurses and doctors who work so diligently in your local pediatric cardiac unit.

Even the smallest act can send a loud message. Please, get involved. Do something. Do it for the babies who have lost their battle, and for those still fighting. Let us know that we're not facing this giant alone.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

We just registered team Charlotte for the Congenital Heart Walk in DC in May. Woo hoo!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...