My journey into the CHD world began in 2013 when my youngest son Zachary was born. Moments after he was born, a nurse noticed he had a very strong hear murmur. He was born with Aortic Stenosis with a Bi-cuspid valve and a VSD. The next 2 weeks was a blur. We learned on Christmas Eve that our 2-week-old baby would need open heart surgery immediately. After 2 long weeks at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis we were able to bring our sweet boy home.
Fast forward to now and to look at him, you would never know he has a CHD. He is your typical rambunctious 5-year-old and we are so happy for that. He is thriving now, but we know it is only a matter of time that he will need further surgeries. This is the reason my husband and I are passionate about raising money for the Children’s Heart Foundation. The numbers are staggering at almost 1 in 100 children affected by CHD’s and yet I knew little to nothing about them prior to my son’s birth.
Running a marathon has always been on my bucket list. I have ran many half marathons, but this will be my inaugural full. I am so excited to have this opportunity to not only check this goal off of my bucket list, but to do so while raising money for an organization and cause that I am so passionate about. Please help me meet my fundraising goal and at the same time – help families and children affected by CHD. Thank you!!!
The Children’s Heart Foundation is the country's leading organization solely dedicated to funding research for congenital heart defects (CHD’s). Congenital heart defects are America’s most common birth defect - nearly 40,000 babies (or approximately 1% of all births) are born with congenital heart defects each year in the U.S.
The Children’s Heart Foundation was founded by Betsy and Steve Peterson after their 8-year-old son, Sam, died of multiple organ failure brought on by a sudden heart-related collapse. Sam was born with complex CHD’s and had Sam been born 20 years earlier, he would not have survived at all. During his short life, Sam proved that medical research and technology could conquer congenital heart defects, if only for a short while.
It’s through continued research that children born with congenital heart defects have a chance to survive – which is why CHF is dedicated to funding this critical research. The Children’s Heart Foundation’s mission is to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects. Since 1996, CHF has funded more than $11.1 million of research.
Although CHD’s are the most common cause of infant death due to birth defects, research for congenital heart defects remains grossly under-funded relative to the prevalence of the disease. Because of medical advancements made through research, death rates from congenital heart defects in the U.S. have declined by 37.5% since 1999 but we need to do more. It is our hope that by funding more research, we will live a world in which all babies born with congenital heart defects live long, healthy lives, and that eventually, congenital heart defects will be eradicated altogether.