Friday, February 1, 2008

CHD Research (and the need for more of it)

Take a look at these facts provided by the Children's Heart Foundation:
  • CHDs are America’s number one birth defect, affecting nearly one out of every 100 births, or 40,000 babies a year.
  • CHDs are responsible for one third of all birth defect related deaths, making CHD the number one cause of birth defect related deaths.
  • More than 91,000 life years are lost each year in the United States because of CHDs.
  • More than 50 percent of all children born with CHD will require a least one invasive surgery in their lifetime. Twenty percent of these children will not survive past their first year of life!
  • The cost for surgery alone exceeds $2.2 billion a year!
  • CHD research is grossly under funded. Pediatric cancer research is five times higher than CHD research although twice as many children die from CHD each year in the United States than from all forms of childhood cancer combined.
  • Research has already made a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families. In the last decade, death rates for CHDs have declined by almost 30 percent because of the advances made through research. As more children's heart abnormalities are treated, research is needed to meet the needs of CHD patients as they reach adulthood.
So where is our unified front? Who will wave the flag for our CHD children? Who applauds and encourages the CHD adult survivors? Where's our national marathon/fundraising event?

Everywhere I look there are pink ribbons, there's a RED campaign, there's red dresses, there's awareness ribbons of every color. When I look for a unified CHD awareness campaign, there is nothing out there. There are many attempts (such as this feeble one) to raise awareness, yet there is not a united voice to raise awareness to the public at large. We need to come together and agree on a way to tackle this problem.

My hope is that the patients, parents, researchers, cardiologists, pediatricians and all others who support CHD awareness can find each other and build bridges. This blog is one of many hundreds of sites out there... let's all find one unified campaign and get together. There are lives that depend on it.

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