I meant to post about this last week and I apologize for not doing it sooner. But since this is THE week to talk about Trick or Treating, I wanted to bring your attention to a great charity. An e-friend of mine that I have never met, but have become close with over the past couple years, had a baby boy a couple months after I had little Alligator. He was born with a condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (or CDH). It basically means that the diaphram doesn't form properly and the baby's parts get a little mixed up inside. The baby always requires surgery(ies) to fix it after the baby is born. My friend's son is doing well, but may have complications for years to come. This is a little known condition and my friend is trying to raise money for this cause.
Here is a more proper definition of CDH taken from my friend's website:
A Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) is a birth defect that occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy when the diaphragm fails to form completely or at all. The diaphram is the muscle that separates abdominal organs from organs in the chest cavity. Having a hole (hernia) in the diaphragm or a lack of a diaphragm all together can allow abdominal organs to enter the chest cavity. This is detrimental because this can decrease the area in which the lungs can grow and can also cause the heart to shift. Not only can it cause the lungs to not fully develop, it can also cause the lung tissue to develop improperly. In addition to lung issues, the shifting of the heart can cause a number of heart problems. CDH can also adversely affect the mother. So mothers of CDH babies need to be closely monitored throughout pregnancy.
CDH occurs in approximately 1 in every 2,500 births (1,600 cases in the U.S. each year). The cause of CDH is not yet known. Every patient diagnosed with CDH is different. There are many surgical procedures and complications that may or may not occur with each individual, including in utero surgery (surgery while the baby is still in the womb). Roughly 50% of babies born with CDH do not survive. Of the 50% that do survive, most will endure long hospital stays, feeding issues, asthma, reherniation, bowel obstruction, and more. A few of the survivors suffer from severe long-term medical issues.
CDH occurs as frequently as Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis, yet there is very little research being done and virtually no media coverage. As mentioned earlier, it's the birth defect you've never heard of.
If you'd like to donate a $1, $5, $10, or whatever amount you would like, you can do so at the Trick or Treat for CDH website. OR you can click on the widget that is off to the right hand side of my page and donate there. All of this money goes directly to the CHERUBS - The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research, Awareness and Support.
A lot of people spend A LOT of money on this holiday - my family included because it my husband's favorite. If you can spare a little bit of that candy money this year for a great charity you'll be doing a great thing.
We'd love for you to pass this on to anyone you know to raise awareness about CDH!