Monday, June 21, 2010

Congenital Heart Defect Documentary

Greetings CHD Friends and Family! I hope everyone had a terrific Fathers' Day. I know my father and the father of my children really seemed to enjoy the weekend.

Today I am excited to write about a new project I just found out about thanks to Jill Sorensen (a contributor to The Heart of a Mother and a Facebook friend). Jill sent me a link to a sample of a documentary being produced to inform the world about congenital heart defects.

Here is a link to the documentary

The part of the documentary that is available to see at the link above is very well done. I was impressed with the breadth and depth of coverage conducted in such a brief time span. I really felt that most of the most important issues we face in the CHD community were covered, although this documentary leaves an open door for more documentaries about congenital heart defects to be created.

At the end of the video is an email address if you want to get more information. Naturally I wrote to Betsy to tell her how excited I was about the project and to see if I could somehow get involved with the project. I spent over an hour talking to Betsy about this monumental project today.

Are you interested in getting involved? If so, you can send a photograph of yourself (if you are an ACHDer), your child or grandchild born with a congenital heart defect for a special part of the documentary which will feature snapshots of our CHD members. I will be sending a photograph of Alex for them to include once I decide which one I want to use! If you would like for your photo to be considered, please send a jpeg to along with a description of the person's heart defect and a line stating that you give the Children's Heart Foundation permission to use the photo in their CHD documentary.

Interested in helping the Children's Heart Foundation finish their project? Although over half of the funding needed for this project has already been procured, they haven't reached their goal yet. If you are interested in contributing to the project financially, you can visit and there are a variety of ways you can give to this non-profit organization. If you want the money to specifically go to the documentary project, you will need to state this in the memo section of your check (if you mail them a check) or in the Additional Information / Comments section of the online giving page. (Just click on the Donate Now! tab at the top of the home page to donate funds to this worthy enterprise.)

I imagine most people have no idea that congenital heart defects are the #1 Birth Defect. I know I was surprised to discover this fact years ago. Why don't people know about this? I think we haven't done as good a job informing the public about the pervasiveness of this birth defect as we could. For the most part, it is a "hidden" defect and it is rather easy for our members to disguise the fact that they have had to endure open-heart procedures, use pacemakers or other assistive devices because they usually are not visible. This means that the public is rather ignorant about the high percentage of children born with congenital heart defects and the even higher percentage of individuals now living to adulthood with their heart defects. It's up to us to inform the public about CHDs, what they are and how they impact our lives.

I hope you'll take some time to view this documentary and if you agree, as I do, that it is a worthwhile project, then I hope you will contribute to the cause financially. If every member of the CHD community gave just a few dollars, the Children's Heart Foundation would have no difficulty finishing this project and getting it out there to spread, not only the news about congenital heart defects, but more importantly -- the HOPE that is available to those born with CHDs today.

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