In joining forces with The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF), it was amazing to learn that congenital heart defects is the #1 birth defect in the world. It is sad to see so many babies born with this condition and many not even live past their 1st birthday….but with the advancement of medical care and CHF’s research, it is encouraging to see more babies living longer with a better quality of life!
So what exactly is a congenital heart defect?
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth. Common examples include holes in the inside walls of the heart and narrowed or leaky valves. In more severe forms of CHDs, blood vessels or heart chambers may be missing, poorly formed, and/or in the wrong place.
According to CHF, did you know that with every dollar the government spends on medical funding, only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research which is why they play such a critical and instrumental role?? They are the only organization that was created to exclusively fund congenital heart defect research and has funded over $6.3 million of important, life-saving research since its inception!
Facts from The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF):
- Congenital heart defects are the world’s #1 birth defect. Nearly one out of every 100 babies is born with a CHD.
- Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the United States.
- An approximate 100-200 deaths are due to unrecognized heart disease in newborns each year. These numbers exclude those dying before diagnosis.
- Nearly 40,000 infants in the U.S. are born each year with CHDs. Of the nearly 4 million infants born in the United States each year, approximately 3% have some type of birth defect. CHD’s are the most common birth defect, occurring in about 1 in 100 births or nearly 1% of births.
- Thanks to improvements in survival rates, the number of adults living with CHDs is increasing. It is now believed that the number of adults living with CHDs is at least equal to, if not greater than, the number of children living with CHDs.
We wanted to show a featured project of CHF so that you can see how their research has impacted a child’s life like Gael’s…..
The Children’s Heart Foundation issued a $71,000 grant to Christopher Caldarone, M.D. at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada for his research study entitled: “Understanding Right Ventricular Physiology in Tetralogy of Fallot.” (2013)
Do you know a child with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)? This featured research project aims to understand the abnormalities in heart muscle function found in children with TOF.
What the research means: Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a common congenital heart defect that involves a ventricular septal defect (hole in the heart), abnormal thickening of the muscle on right side of the heart, and abnormalities in the major blood vessels carrying blood away from the heart. Children typically undergo corrective surgery as an infant, but often require subsequent interventions to prevent against right heart failure.
In the immediate post-operative period, some children experience a complicated course that involves depressed heart function requiring a more complicated stay in the intensive care unit. Why some children experience this remains unknown. This research will look at how the heart muscle of children with TOF functions to better understand abnormalities found in children with TOF.
The research can ultimately impact the care of these children in the intensive care unit and improve strategies aimed at minimizing myocardial damage associated with surgery. This can potentially have an impact on the need for future interventions and subsequent long-term outcomes.
Meet Gael: Gael was born in 2011 with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). At 6 months old, Gael had open heart surgery. Today, Gael does not allow his condition to define him or limit what he can do. CHF is dedicated to help fund CHD research that is designed to find better and more effective ways to help children like Gael, and give them an opportunity to grow up and live a full and happy life. Dr. Caldarone’s research is a step in the right direction to help children like Gael in the future.
Now who can resist this smile??
We were happy to get on board and support! With the exception of Breast Cancer, all of the charitable organizations we donated to this Fall, involved helping children because they are our future and need so many resources and funding. Uniform Advantage donated $1 from the sale of each of its Healthy Heart Black prints and contributed over $2,000.00.
About The Children’s Heart Foundation
Established by Betsy Peterson in 1996, The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) is the country’s leading national organization solely committed to congenital heart research funding. Since 1996, CHF has funded 58 research projects with more than $6.3 million. CHF is a national 501(c)(3) tax‐exempt charitable organization that does not receive any government funding. The goal of the foundation is to bring health, hope and happiness to children and families impacted by congenital heart defects, the most common birth defect in the United States. This objective is accomplished by funding the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects. For more information, please visit: www.childrensheartfoundation.org.
Because CHF plays an important role in advocating for increased child heart disease research, you can play your part in contacting your legislators to ensure funding is allocated for the Congenital Futures Act and to support funding for this research. You can click here for more information. As a united and larger voice, we can increase the quality of life for many children affected……what say you?