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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

One out of every hundred

Heart defects are the number one birth defect, affecting one out of every hundred babies born--more than 40,000 in the United States alone. We're grateful to live in a country where medical technology is able to save the lives of many babies, including our son Riley.

To coincide with Valentine's Day, February 14 is now widely recognized as Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Day. Over the weekend, we went to two heart-related events. On Saturday, we trekked two hours to Modesto for a fundraiser for Camp Taylor, a free summer camp for kids with heart defects and their siblings. And on Sunday, we enjoyed a festive party, hosted by Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.

For a few minutes every day, I try to remember how grateful I am for how far we've come, despite all the obstacles and challenges. And with Riley's third open-heart surgery just three weeks away, my thoughts have shifted to be more focused with what is to come, rather than where we've been. My mind has been overwhelmingly occupied with thoughts of hospitals sights and smells, doctors, and the overall reality of being in the hospital round the clock for several weeks. And with the hospital so close, it makes CHD Awareness Day all the more important to me this year. I'm thankful that there are wonderful organizations out there working to raise awareness and funds to help strangers--regular people like us.

See Father in Chief's post for more information on CHD Awareness Day and things you can do.

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