Friday, February 10, 2012

Please join me in Caring for little hearts during American Heart Month

It is CHD Awareness Week and American Heart Month and I would like to invite you to support a little heart in memory of Gwenyth.


 
This week, a gathering of ladies from my little church got together for "CHD Awareness Week." We wanted to celebrate the nephew of our fellow church member, a sweet little guy named Thomas Campbell Fawcett. Diagnosed prenatally with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, he was born June 10, 2011.

His journey as a CHD warrior has been a rough and bumpy ride, but he's going strong today. He has overcome some huge hurdles and stands out as one tough cookie in the CHD world. We were able to meet Cam, his big sister Maggie and his mommy as they were traveling through on their way back to North Carolina after a day-full of doctor visits at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The gathering was an opportunity for myself and other CHD Mothers to share their child's story.  We also collected supplies and donations for care packages for Sisters By Heart, in honor of Cam.

 (Thank you everyone, for your care, time, and generosity!)

The reason I'm writing is to share the news that the event continues...and it is open to everyone! Please consider joining us in supporting "heart babies" and their families.

The Event is on Facebook for you to share: "Caring for little hearts during American Heart Month" as well as right here:

~Caring for Little Hearts During American Heart Month~

Meet the CHD kiddos who inspired this event:
http://pinterest.com/lauriecarpenter/chd-close-to-home-families-in-harrisonburg-area/

My personal narrative about these kiddos; CHD Awareness: Intertwined Stories here in Harrisonburg

How to Participate: 
You can donate items needed for care bags. If you live in Harrisonburg, you can give your donation to the person who shared this event with you (they will in turn get it to me for distribution). Items can also be mailed directly to the organizations. Follow the links below to learn what special items you can provide.

You can donate $5, $10 or $25 to one of the following organizations:

Sisters By Heart:
http://www.sisters-by-heart.org/p/care-packages.html
Sisters by Heart supports families newly diagnosed hypoplastic left heart syndrome, "one precious heart at a time." A major aspect of their mission is to send care packages to new mothers (and fathers) who are at the beginning of their journey."We want them to know that they are not alone and provide resources and understanding while their child undergoes care and treatment from birth throughout recovery or their first surgery."

Mended Little Hearts of Winchester:
http://winchester.mendedlittlehearts.net/?page_id=7

Parents with children who have been diagnosed with a congenital cardiovascular defect need to know that they are not alone and there is hope. However, even well-meaning family and friends and compassionate medical staff may not be able to offer them the strength and comfort they need. By speaking with a trained parent volunteer, whose family has serviced this same difficult situation, parents in crisis can work through their overwhelming emotions as they focus on the vital medical decisions at hand. Through the support system and educational resources for the Mended Little Hearts, families will be able to develop and immediate connection and begin to build a sense of hope for the future.


We also organize and provide Care Bags to area hospitals for families during their extended stay.


ABOUT CHDs:
A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a structural problem of the heart
that occurs in the first seven weeks following conception.

CHDs are the most common type of birth defect, affecting 1 in 125 babies born, according to the March of Dimes.

To date, doctors don't know the cause of the majority of congenital heart defects
 
Learn more: Overview with Illustrations

Feature Story of a day in the life of a Pediatric Heart Surgeon: http://www.gwenythcarpenter.com/2011/02/chd-awareness-must-read-miracle-is-his.html

Faces of CHD Pinterest page for CHD Awareness Week is here:
http://pinterest.com/ruth_h/the-faces-of-chd-congenital-heart-awareness-week-f/



Please, take a moment to read about the children our gathering represented. Consider participating and supporting two wonderful organizations, Sisters By Heart and Mended Little Hearts of Winchester. Please spread the word and share this event and help care for little hearts during American Heart Month.
 
Thank you for participating in CHD Awareness Week!

----

One last item: I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the "lia sophia" fundraiser for Mended Little Hearts of Winchester! I was so pleased to be able kick of "Heart Month" with such a successful and fun event - we raised $202 while adding some lovely jewelry to our collections. Thank you and I hope you enjoy your pieces and maybe are inspired, when you are complimented, as of course you will be (their jewelry IS really beautiful) to share that you purchased it at a fundraiser for Mended Little Hearts and in memory of Gwen. <3  Thank you Jessie and Erin for organizing and for your generous donations!


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