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February 17, 2009 - Cindy Votruba
This month is Heart Disease Awareness Month. Saturday was also a special Valentine’s Day of sorts for me and those who have congenital heart disease: CHD Awareness Day. CHD Awareness Day was started to raise awareness of what is the No. 1 cause of death among birth defects. One out of 100 babies are born with a CHD each year. That’s a lot of babies, and apparently I was one of them back in 1972.
It’s been more than five years since I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and had surgery. I’m doing relatively fine. But there are others out there with more severe CHDs. They have pacemakers, use oxygen, are unable to work or are facing more surgeries to either replace pulmonary valves or fixing a new problem.
I’ll admit that I didn’t do anything really special for CHD awareness day, well actually, week (Feb. 7-14). More than 100 CHD patients and family members lobbied at Washington, D.C. for CHD awareness. This has become an annual event. Maybe someday I’ll get out there.
As for the other side of Feb. 14, I had a good time at the Minneota Public Library’s fund-raiser “A Chocolate Affair.” Good food, good chocolate, but well, not-so-good dancing.
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