Non-profit aims to raise awareness of lifelong heart conditions with social media campaign
TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2015 /CNW/ - The average Canadian does not know very much about congenital heart disease (CHD), yet it is the most common birth defect, affecting one in every 100 children born in Canada. February is Heart Awareness Month, and the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA) is challenging Canadians to find their 1 in 100 friend, family or colleague affected with this lifelong condition.
"Fifty years ago, children, like me, who were born with this condition only had about a 20 per cent survival rate. Today that number has increased to an astounding 90 per cent, so the likelihood that we know someone with CHD is high," said CCHA Executive Director, Shelagh Ross. "February 7-14 is CHD awareness week in Canada. We hope to increase awareness of CHD among Canadians by revealing the people they already know living with this disease."
Canadians living with CHD surpasses many other long-term, well-recognized diseases by more than 250 per cent, yet it is the least funded of all major organizations, with only $722,000 in annual funding. This month, Canadians are encouraged to find their "1 in 100" and share their story on social media.
Thanks to incredible advances in medicine, more and more patients live past the age of 18 every year. Yet this brings a new set of needs to the CHD community, including education for patients and the medical community, lifelong, specialized medical care and patient support and further research focused on adult CHD treatments and long-term care.
The Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA) is a volunteer, charitable organization founded in 2004. It aims to raise awareness about congenital heart disease (CHD), support and connect patients throughout their lives, and promote CHD research so that the 1 in 100 babies born each year with CHD live longer, healthier lives. For more information or to make a donation to CCHA please visit www.CCHAforlife.org. Canadian registered charity 832594329RR0001.
Infographic: See how the CHD population & funding stacks-up:
SOURCE Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance
For further information: or to book an interview, please contact: Shelagh Ross, [email protected], 289-888-2393