SWEETHEART Day is held annually on 14 February to raise funds towards fighting childhood heart disease (CHD).
All proceeds go towards HeartKids, a national organisation that focuses on funding vital medical research as well as improving the lives of Aussie kids with CHD.
Eight babies are born every day with a heart defect in Australia, and every week four lives are lost.
Heart disease is the single biggest killer of kids under one.
Two Medowie families are getting behind the cause this year again, because they have two very special HeartKids of their own.
Lucas Pickett was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (essentially half a heart).
He required life saving open heart surgery at just two days old, and again at six months old with further surgeries required in the future.
The Pickett family lived at the hospital for over two months following his birth.
Kaylee Stokes was born with an Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) which was diagnosed at six weeks old.
While the possibility of surgery always lingers, Kaylee has been fighting this condition on her own and the Stokes Family have been blessed that she has not yet required it.
She requires ongoing checkups to monitor both the progress of her condition and also her development.
Kaylee’s parents, Leon and Jacqui, told News Of The Area, “We were completely oblivious to the high number of children born with Childhood Heart Disease.”
“We didn’t realise the number of families it affected and the number of child lives lost as a result.”
“Since finding out about our little girl we’ve always wanted to do more for Heartkids,” they said.
The assistance of HeartKids – a charity that provides lifelong support for children with CHD and their families is invaluable.
Lucas’s Mum, Michelle, told News Of The Area, “HeartKids Family coordinators became part of your family.”
“They too are parents of children with CHD.”
“They celebrate with you, provide a shoulder to cry on and assist with financial support,” she said.
For details about Sweetheart Day visit www.sweetheartday.org.au.
To donate go to: https://sweetheartday2017.everydayhero.com/au/medowie-heartkids.
News Of The Area also met with a Mums’ group organising a very special fundraiser disco in aid of HeartKids. See this week’s edition for more information.
By Rachael VAUGHAN