Monday, February 6, 2012

Arizona is stepping up...

Even though my political views may differ vastly from many politicians in Arizona, I have to say that Governor Brewer stepped up and supported something I hold with the utmost importance.

Several weeks ago, I wrote the Governor asking her to acknowledge the prevalence and impact that Congenital Heart Defects have on Arizona families.  Much to my delight, I received a proclamation in the mail a few days ago.

This week, starting tomorrow (February 7th through February 14th) has been proclaimed Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.

The text of the proclamation is simple, yet significant:

"WHEREAS, congenital heart defects are the most frequently occurring birth defects and the leading cause of birth defect related deaths worldwide; and

WHEREAS, over a million families across America are facing the challenges and hardships of raising children with congenital heart defects; and

WHEREAS, every year 40,000 babies are born in the United States with congenital heart defects; and

WHEREAS, some congenital heart defects are not diagnosed until months or years after birth, causing many cases of sudden cardiac death in young athletes who have not been diagnosed with congenital heart conditions; and

WHEREAS, in 2010, there were 2,783 hospital admissions in Arizona of infants with congenital heart disorders; and their hospital charges amounted to $449 million; and

WHEREAS, despite these statistics, newborns and young athletes are not routinely screened for congenital heart defects, with a disproportionately small amount of funding available for congenital heart defect research, parent/patient educational services and support; and

WHEREAS, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week provides an opportunity for families whose lives have been affected by congenital heart defects to celebrate life and to remember loved ones lost, to honor dedicated health professionals, and to meet others and know they are not alone; and

WHEREAS, the establishment of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week will also provide the opportunity to share experience and information with the public and the media, in order to raise public awareness about congenital heart defects.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Janice K. Brewer, Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby proclaim February 7-14, 2012


and encourage all citizens to increase awareness, education and services for congenital heart defects, which each year affect thousands of babies in Arizona."

And, for my Congenital Heart Defect "baby", who gives me new purpose and meaning...

I love you Zoe Madison and will fight the most stubborn of politicians so your voice can be heard!!!

Zoe, at the beginning of her battle with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Zoe, today, half a heart and living well!

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