Monday, March 24, 2008

Making a Difference

It seems that the majority of people out there working on congenital heart defect awareness, advocacy and research funding are parents whose lives have been forever changed by their child's diagnosis heart defect.

I recently read an article about one such person named Linette Derminer who has worked hard to get AED devices into schools after her son passed away from an undiagnosed CHD at the age of 17. She even created a foundation called the Parent Heart Watch, to promote research, advocacy, equipment donations and awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in youth, which is often attributed to an undiagnosed CHD. She has been nominated for Cleveland Woman of the Year. If she wins, she gets a shopping spree, but more importantly, her charity will receive a hefty sum from Chevrolet. Please join me in supporting her efforts by casting your vote for her today at

The ParentHeartWatch gives the following astonishing statistics:
  • National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury reports 5-15 cases annually. This is sponsored by the NCAA and NFHS. It only records High School and College and only in the sanctioned sporting event.
  • The Sudden Death Athletes registry records about 300 cases annually. It records athletes between the age of 15-35.
  • The Center for Disease Control reported 2504 cases of heart disease deaths in their latest report year of 2002 under age 24. Over half were in the 15-24 age group. This does not include cases of impact to the chest or secondary effect from other causes such as lightning, heatstroke, etc.
  • SCA is estimated to affect up to 7,000 young people annually according to the Pediatric Clinics of North America Journal #1999; 46(2):221-234
  • An estimated 14,000 children and infants die annually from SCD according to the Heart Rhythm Society in May 2004
Great work, Ms. Derminer! You are just one awesome example of the many people out there making a difference for both today's and tomorrow's children by refusing to forget the struggles of yesterday's and today's CHD patients.

"A hero is not an extraordinary person but an ordinary person that does extraordinary thing"
-Christopher Reeves

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