How to Help Children with Cardiomyopathy
September is Children's Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month. Here's how to help raise awareness about this devastating heart condition.
Did you know that September is Children's Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month? This devastating heart condition—which makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body—affects approximately 30,000 kids in the U.S. but doesn't get much attention, probably because so much research is still needed to truly understand it.
To be honest, I knew almost nothing about the disease until recently, when I heard Lisa Yue's heartbreaking story. She first lost her 11-month-old son Bryan to undiagnosed cardiomyopathy, and then one year later lost her 9-month-old child, Kevin, to the disease as well. She and her husband started the Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation in 2002 to help families dealing with the condition. The organization aims to raise public awareness and helps diagnosed kids lead healthy, active lives.
While there is no cure, death can be prevented if cardiomyopathy is diagnosed early. That's why it's so important to spread awareness. So on that note, here are a few ways you can help year-round (and not just in September!):
- Learn the signs and symptoms of cardiomyopathy. (I recommend ChildrensCardiomyopathy.org.)
- Share facts about the disease on social media to help alert parents of children who might be at risk.
- Purchase a cureband to show your support.
- Write to your congressional representatives to ask for their support of any legislation that would help kids with heart conditions.
- Host a fundraiser (such as a bake sale at your local community center) to support CCF and the search for a cure.
How will you be making a difference? Let us know in the comments!
Chrisanne Grise is an assistant editor covering kids' health and entertainment at Parents. Follow her on Twitter: @xanne.