By NATALIA HAWK
This Valentine’s Day, let’s forget about the cards, the roses, the balloons, the pink confetti and the heart-shaped cookies.
Instead, why don’t we focus our energy on something a hundred times more amazing?
You can help to mend a broken heart. And not a metaphorically broken heart. The real, tiny heart of a newborn baby who is struggling with heart disease.
February is Heart Awareness Month – and Valentine’s Day is also International Heart Defect Awareness Day.
HeartKids Australia is working hard this Valentine’s Day to raise awareness of child heart disease, which is actually the number one killer of infants in Australia.
On average, six babies are born with a heart defect every day in Australia. Yes, every single day. And even more tragically, four precious lives are lost every single week. Resulting in many more broken hearts for the families and friends of those much-loved babies.
It’s hard to hear the stories from the families and realise what they go through. Here’s a video from Xavier, who was born with an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. It’s confronting, it’s devastating and you’ll probably cry throughout. But it’s also a huge insight into what the parents of a Heartkid go through in the first few months on their child’s life.
Xavier is now two, and doing very well thanks to the efforts of everyone who helped him.
But there are countless other kids who may not be so lucky – and for this, I’m sending out a call to action on behalf of HeartKids so that they can raise awareness and funds for future research.
So, instead of ranting about the commercialism of Valentine’s Day and instead of forking out your hard-earned cash on overpriced gifts, why not donate to HeartKids and help mend these broken hearts?
Donate online at heartkids.org.au, or
Visit an HCF branch to purchase merchandise which will raise funds for ongoing support programs and research grants. Merchandise includes a $5 wand, a $2 pin, or a $4 flashing heart (which is the actual size of a newborn’s heart).