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.