Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"Hey, what's the blue and red ribbon for?"

It's been the question of the week, and I've answered it a few times each day. My response: "congenital heart defects awareness week," and then I tell the inquirer a bit about little Marin.

Marin is my cousin, Lindsay's, daughter, and she was born with Shone's syndrome. It's my understanding that Shone's Syndrome is characterized by multiple anomalies in the left side of the heart. This little sprite will be two in April, and she's already had two open-heart surgeries to work on correcting the defects in her heart.

Her parents and big brother, Carter, have been brave during all Marin's doctor visits and surgeries, and I know they count themselves grateful to be part of the select few who benefit from resources and proximity to care that have saved and lengthened Marin's life. Of course there are other little kids who suffer from the same and similar congenital heart defects that Marin does, and a good portion of them don't receive the care that she has benefitted from.

More awareness means more research. More research means more life-saving procedures. More life-saving procedures means mother's babies live longer.

I'm not sure how many ribbons Lindsay hand-made and mailed out to family and friends this year, but I know that last year's count was above 50. I'm wearing my ribbon, truly, with pride.

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