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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Have you taken the Pledge?

On November 30, 2009, a beautiful little girl named Cora was born.  Five short days later she would pass away at home, in her mother's arms, of an undiagnosed Congenital Heart Defect.  Cora's mother, Kristine, in honor of her little girl, is on a mission to spread awareness about CHD and has made it her goal that no other parent should have to get their child's diagnosis from the coroner.  November 30th has been declared Cora's Day in her hometown but Kristine wants to take things even further and make Cora's birthday a day of awareness.  So many people view CHD as a rare thing but it is the most common and birth defect.  CHD kills more than all childhood cancers combined.  And yet so many know so little about it......  Take the Pledge.  Demand a pulse ox screening at birth, let your pregnant friends know they should be asking for the screening, write your representatives and ask that they support having heart screenings to the newborn screening panel, learn the signs of a heart defect.  Heart defects are not just something that shows up at birth--it may take years or even decades before a heart defect is diagnosed and treated.  But knowledge truly is power--if you know what to look for and what to ask for, you may just save a life.  Click over and take a look at the Take the Pledge site :)   My grandmother had a heart baby who could not be saved.  We have come a long way in the last sixty years but there is still a long journey ahead--heart babies are still dying, some of them because they were not diagnosed.  Some day my own children may face this journey and I would hope by then the advances are even further along and diagnostics ensure all babies get treated asap.