Happy Friday!

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"] You guys, it's back...Pay it Forward Friday!! This one is near and dear to my heart and one I hope you'll take part in because A. it's a no brainer and B. it won't cost you anything!

This is a story about my little friend Cooper and how he is living with congenital heart disease. Cooper was born with a heart defect that went un-diagnosed for a long time. His parents noticed that his twin sister, Chloe was growing and developing at a much faster rate than her brother while Cooper was having a hard time with reflux and breathing. Once the doctors were able to diagnose him, Cooper would have to undergo multiple heart surgeries which included a valve replacement. Cooper is currently 4 years old, he's traveled to NY from Florida to have his procedures performed by the magic hands of the doctors at NY Presbyterian Hospital. Thanks to the perseverance of his parents Jenn and Tommy, he is now an active little boy who enjoys running around, going to school and playing games with his siblings and friends. Cooper will have to undergo additional surgeries as he grows, but for now, he can live his life with little to no restriction. Cooper's father, Tommy chronicled his journey on Caringbridge.com, you can read all about the 2 years of hell they endured to find the right solution for Cooper here:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cooperascone

My pay it forward today is at the request of Coop's mom, Jenn. She's a HUGE advocate for bringing awareness to the masses on the subject of congenital heart disease. There's currently a petition being circulated to have February 7 - 14th recognized as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (just in time for Valentine's Day!). Please take a moment to sign and circulate the petition on behalf of Cooper and his fight. You can go to the petition directly here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/nationally-recognize-february-7-14-congenital-heart-defect-awareness-week/Lq612tQ0

Below are some bullet points on CHD.... Thanks everyone!! Have a great day!!

  • Congenital heart defects are America's and every country's #1 birth defect. Nearly 1 of every 100 babies is born with a CHD.
  • CHDs are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.
  • CHDs are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the US.
  • Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the US with a CHD.
  • Each year over 1,000,000 babies are born worldwide with a CHD. 100,000 will not live to see their first birthday; 1,000s more die before they reach adulthood.
  • There are an estimated 2,000,000 CHD survivors in the US.
  • There are more than 40 types of CHDs,there is no known prevention or cure for any of them.
  • In the US, twice as many children die from CHDs each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined,yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than for CHD.