Last year I listed a lot of "famous" people you might know of living with or who died from a CHD. Another "famous" CHD survivor was competing in the Sochi Olympics this year. American Snowboarder Shaun White had two open heart surgeries in his early years to repair a disorder called "Tetralogy of Fallot". (Sorry for him that he did not win a gold yesterday!) He has received criticism for not being a public figure to support fundraising and research for CHD...and he doesn't talk about it or use his celebrity to help the cause. I'm not interested in making a statement about him (although of course it is too bad that he isn't willing to help!), but rather to make the statement that there are SO MANY PEOPLE living with CHDs. You might know some people who have a CHD, but you might also have people in your life who have a CHD that you don't know about it. I think it is actually pretty rare to find someone who isn't somehow connected to CHDs in some way.
The statistics that I've been posting are just very clear: more children die from CHDs than all childhood cancers combined, but CHD research receives only a fraction of the funding that cancer research receives. I am not at all begrudging the funding for childhood cancers...of course not! But I do wish there was more attention for CHD research and to help families cope with CHD loss or survival. One week every year it is great to highlight this cause, but even better if it was receiving ongoing attention!