In the United States, heart disease remains the number one killer. Yes, still. The amazing strides in early detection, proper care, understanding the genetic link between heart disease and high blood pressure, understanding and helping folks recover from strokes and still heart disease takes more lives than all other causes combined, this according to the American Heart Association. But BABIES? Yes, and let me share why.
According to the March of Dimes 1 in every 100 babies born in the United States is born with a heart defect. http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/congenital-heart-defects.aspx Some heart defects aren't serious, some are fixed with little fanfare, but some are quite serious, again the March of Dimes reports about 4,800 babies are born each year with a heart defect that can cause serious health problems or even loss of life. Doesn't seem like very many babies, I think we agree that if its your baby its 1 too many babies. This is why the American heart association has planned the Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign.
First, what is this campaign about? Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in babies. With heart disease and birth defects being so prevalent the American Heart Association started this Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign to coincide with National Heart Month in February. They want to raise awareness about congenital heart defects and heart disease by asking knitters and crocheters to make red hats to be sent to hospital nurseries and Neo-natal intensive care units in various states around the country.
I started my affiliation with the American Heart Association when I was a teenager in High School. I became good friends with the school nurse who was sort of my refuge from he hustle, bustle, and bullying of my large school. She asked me to get involved with the program to help encourage my peers to stop smoking. I knew that smoking was a bad habit for teens, I saw some of my peers already suffering the effects of cigarette smoking. Shortness of breath, nicotine withdrawal during school hours, and of course the ubiquitous smoking in the girls bathroom. I was concerned for my friends. With good reason. One of my best friends lost her dad to cancer and another her mom to a very sudden heart attack, both while we were still in school. Traumatic to say the least. I am also a big advocate for the "Go Red" campaign. So yesterday when a friend, a young mom who gave birth to a premature baby herself, sent me the link to this story in the Chicago Tribune online I was thrilled. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/arlington-heights/community/chi-ugc-article-american-heart-association-collecting-red-bab-2015-10-09-story.html Monica knows how much I love knitting and crocheting for babies! What she probably did not know was how passionate I have been about the work of the American Heart Association.
How can YOU help? Well its really very simple! Follow this link, find the nearest Little Hats, Big Hearts affliate state and start stitching http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Little-Hats-Big-Hearts_UCM_470829_SubHomePage.jsp#mainContent In my case the nearest program is the Southern New England chapter. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Little-Hats-Big-Hearts-Southern-New-England_UCM_472883_SubHomePage.jsp#mainContent
Because I know knitters and crocheters have BIG HEARTS, I'm looking forward to overwhelming response to this call for Little Hats :) Thank you!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.