By Fred and Mia Carella, Guest Bloggers
As parents, few things are scarier than finding out something is wrong with your baby, but that’s the news we received six years ago before our daughter, Evalyn, was born. It was then that we found out Evalyn had a congenital heart defect.
Many people believe heart disease only affects the elderly. Yet by age two, Evalyn had undergone two open heart surgeries, three cardiac catheterizations, a stent placement and countless other tests and procedures. While the journey is sometimes difficult, Evalyn is doing well thanks to breakthrough research funded by organizations, such as the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
But the need for more research is unquestionable. In the U.S., nearly 40,000 children are born with a heart defect each year. Many congenital heart defects are diagnosed in infancy and some, like Evalyn’s, can be detected prenatally. After diagnosis, there are medical treatments available to help the heart perform its best.
This year, Evalyn and our family will share our journey at the Central New Jersey Heart Walk. For the past 4 years, we have walked with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to raise funds and awareness for the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers, heart disease and stroke. It is our hope that one day no family will need to learn their child has a heart condition.
Join us on Friday, September 30 at the 2016 Central New Jersey Heart Walk at Arm & Hammer Park, home of the Trenton Thunder. For more information, visit www.CentralNJHeartWalk.org.
Fred and Mia Carella are volunteers for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association and their family will serve as Survivor Ambassadors at the Central NJ Heart Walk on Friday, September 30, 2016.