For most of us, childhood is just one giant grab bag filled with emotions and experiences, laughter and tears, curiosity and wonder.
Rolling in the grass with the dog. That first jump off a diving board. Wearing itchy clothes to a wedding. Losing a tooth in the grocery store. Missing the school bus. Calling someone your best friend for the very first time.
At times happy and sad, messy and imperfect, childhood is the ultimate proving ground for what eventually makes us us.
But not everyone gets a childhood. At least not in the same way others do. One out of every 100 children is born with congenital heart disease. (No, that’s not a typo.) That’s 109 babies a day, carrying a greater risk of death than any other birth defect — and destined to spend way too much time in the hospital. That means while other kids have the luxury of fighting with their siblings in the backseat, these little ones get to be shuttled back and forth into a sterile room for their umpteenth echo-cardiogram or another procedure that’s even harder to spell. Or worse.
A whopping 30% of children with CHD require open heart surgery, often leaving ugly scars and taking months to heal.
But the crazy thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. When it comes to heart disease research, kids have gotten the short end of the stick for years, with 99% of all funding dollars going to adults, who benefit from the advanced care and less-invasive treatment options that aren’t yet scientifically feasible for tiny patients.
A Giving Heart Foundation is on a mission to help right this injustice.
That’s why we’re funding some of the world’s most innovative pediatric specialists as they develop revolutionary technology so no child will ever have to go through open heart surgery again. But we can’t climb this mountain alone.