February is American Heart Month, a time to honor the bravery of more than 40,000 children who are born with congenital heart disease (CHD) each year. CHD is the most common type of birth defect, and it affects how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. About 1 in 4 babies with CHD is born with a critical defect that requires extensive surgeries and procedures during the first year of life.
With no cure for CHD, these little Heart Warriors spend their childhoods fighting to stay healthy, with long hospital stays and frequent procedures making it difficult to enjoy the treasured time of being a kid. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, over 80,000 babies have been born with CHD, adding to the burden of facing this incurable diagnosis — their time in the hospital is more isolated than ever. Their families often feel alone while protecting their child’s health during a pandemic, on top of the general anxiety of navigating the complications of CHD.
But you can help! Starlight’s programs are designed to offer children and their families an escape from this anxiety, especially during long hospital stays or lengthy treatment journeys. We put so much love and care into creating experiences that will deliver happiness to any hospitalized child - whether they are stuck in their hospital bed, receiving treatments, or visiting for a follow up appointment. For kids with CHD, Starlight programs are there to provide familiar video games, cozy hospital gowns that offer easier access for heart procedures, favorite toys to snuggle with during recovery, and more.
This month, you can show these courageous kids that they are loved by donating in support of Starlight’s programs. When you give in honor of a loved one, we will send them a special Valentine’s Day video gram from Starlight Kid and Heart Warrior, Finn!
While Valentine’s Day looks different for kids like Finn, Starlight programs are a simple but impactful way to show them they are loved. This Heart Month, give a gift to honor the strength of children facing serious illness and hospitalization during a pandemic. You can bring the simple joys of childhood to these kids when they need it most.