While 14 February is generally synonymous with celebrating all things love, it’s also HeartKids Sweetheart Day, an annual national event to raise awareness about congenital or childhood acquired heart disease (CHD).
To help support HeartKids – a national charity dedicated to supporting those impacted by CHD and a critical lifeline for thousands of Australian families – this February, individuals are encouraged to purchase a special $5 heart beads bracelet to help support families by CHD.
The bracelets symbolise the beads that many heart kids receive during hospital stays, with each distinctive bead representing a specific challenge, procedure or treatment that children with CHD have endured.
The heart beads are a cherished reminder of a child’s courage and helps them tell their story.
The purchase of a $5 heart beads bracelet will help HeartKids continue its essential support services and programs, while providing vital funds for ongoing research.
As demand for CHD support services grows, HeartKids is hoping to expand its services for families by continuing its 1800 Helpline, parent education programs, family financial assistance, and in-hospital support initiatives, which includes its unique heart beads program.
HeartKids’ goal in 2021 is to increase access to its support services and programs across Australia, with a particular focus on those living in isolated communities.
“HeartKids has been the voice of Australian children with heart disease and their families for almost 40 years,” says newly appointed HeartKids CEO, Fiona Ellis.
“Having successfully advocated for the implementation of a National Strategic Action Plan for Childhood Heart Disease, we’re now looking forward to seeing the first Australian Standards of Care developed to ensure impacted individuals and their families have access to specialist health experts and appropriate levels of care around the country.”
For more information about HeartKids and how you can participate in Sweetheart Day, visit: sweetheartday.org.au/.