Join me in supporting congenital heart defect research and celebrating our heart warrior Declan!
Raising funds for congenital heart defect (CHD) research is not only critically important to all babies born with, and children and adults living with CHDs, it is also personally meaningful to me. Our son, Declan John, was diagnosed in utero at my 20 week anatomy scan with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), a CHD caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth. Prior to repair, TOF causes oxygen-poor blood flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body. Surgery is needed within the first year of life.
At 11 weeks old, Declan underwent open heart surgery to repair his TOF, spending 7 days in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit following some post-surgery complications. While the surgery was a complete success, Declan will eventually need a pulmonary valve (the surgeon was unable to spare his) and will also need to see a cardiologist for the rest of his life. We are so incredibly grateful that we live near the Cleveland Clinic, where Declan receives excellent, state-of-the-art care.
Declan's heart defect came as a complete surprise as there is no history of CHDs in either of our families. Genetic testing also came up empty. In many cases, CHDs happen randomly, in isolated cases, and with no specific explanation. This is why it is so critically important to fund research into CHDs - to understand why they happen and to understand how to repair and manage them.
By donating to help me reach my fundraising goal, you’re helping to fund the most promising research into CHDs - America’s most common birth defect.
Together we can make a life-saving difference! Thank you in advance for your support.
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