Today we feature a post from Deb Gimbel on why RQS Cares has chosen to support the Congenital Heart Walk.
Seven years ago, my niece Riley was born with a congenital heart defect known as complete heart block, which is an interference in the signals between the heart chambers, resulting in an extremely low heart rate. After Riley’s first birthday, the doctor’s decided she needed a pacemaker since her heart rate had declined since birth. At the age of one, she received her first pacemaker and thrived. Today, Riley is an energetic seven year old, who loves to dance, play soccer and bake!
Unfortunately, there is no cure for complete heart block, so Riley will need a pacemaker her whole life. The Children’s Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money in support of research for congenital heart defects (CHD), including complete heart block. Even though there is no cure today for Riley, we hope that through the Pittsburgh Heart Walk and other fundraising efforts, someday a cure will be found.
As a “heart mom”, my sister, Lori, is passionate about the Pittsburgh Heart Walk that supports both the Children’s Heart Foundation and the Adult Congenital Heart Association. In her words:
Having a child with a CHD is knowing your child's condition has no cure, your child will face a lifetime of obstacles and your child has no promise of a healthy tomorrow. Through Riley's CHD, I've become ingrained in the heart community, finding an extended family that is supportive and strong. I plan the walk to give the Pittsburgh heart community a chance to gather, to remember and fight against this killer of children. I work each day for the Children's Heart Foundation to give my child, and every child with CHD, a chance at a healthy tomorrow.
Congenital heart defects are the #1 birth defect in the US and around the world. My family participates every year in the Heart Walk, not only in support of my niece Riley, but for all of those children who are born with CHDs. Our fundraising efforts can help support future research and give CHD kids a brighter future. Come walk with us!
- Deb Gimbel