An Important Week
February is Heart Disease Awareness month. More importantly this week from Feb. 7-14 is Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Awareness week. It’s an important week for me and many of my friends. Its our week. We get to bombard you with facts and statistics about CHD and you get to listen.
So here it goes one out of every one hundred children are born daily with a CHD. That’s one every fifteen minutes. Due to technology and advances in surgery more children are surviving into adult hood than ever before. In fact for the first time ever there are more adults with a CHD now than children. But it’s not enough. Even with all the advances made in the treatment of CHD still nearly twice as many children die of a CHD every year than all the childhood cancers put together. CHD is the number one birth defect world-wide. There are thousands of children born every year with a CHD.
Still with all the children and adults living with a CHD there are few people out there that have heard or know about it unless it has actually impacted their lives. Because of this there is very little funding for CHD. This past year was the first time that our government set aside money to research CHDs.
So those are the facts now let me tell you what living with a CHD is.
- Taking medication daily and having to miss school and playing with your friends because, you had to have open heart surgery.
- Being tired or not feeling well, but not wanting to miss out on time with your friends or family.
- Your gym teacher telling you that your out of shape and lazy and that’s why you can’t catch your breath. And telling you, you’re not really sick.
- Having people you meet think you’re lying to get sympathy.
- Having to explain what the scars are from and then having to hear someone say “well luckily they managed to fix your heart” and knowing that isn’t true.
- Not being able to go kayaking with your fourteen year old son because your to tired and short of breath after loading the kayaks on the car.
- A life time of knowing that those that love you are worrying about you constantly.
- A life time of taking medications and knowing that at some point in the future your going to need another surgery because, replacement valves don’t last forever.
CHD isn’t all bad though because it’s also these things:
- Never taking life for granted.
- Learning that your capable of more than you ever thought was possible
- Learning that courage doesn’t mean not being scared. It means doing what needs to be done regardless of how afraid you are.
- Having a greater compassion for those that are truly in need of it.
- Knowing what true friendship means.
- Taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.
- Finding new ways of doing things.
In all I think having a CHD has made me a better person, despite all the negatives. Because the on thing CHD truly is, is finding positives in the negatives.
Please click here to see the people who are affected by CHD. http://pinterest.com/ruth_h/the-faces-of-chd-congenital-heart-awareness-week-f/
To end with I want to dedicate this particular blog to a little boy who passed away this past week 1/28/2012 at 19 1/2 months old. Adam Sallee. He was born with HLHS and received a heart transplant just over four months before his passing. Fly High Adam you will be missed.