Friday, November 6, 2009

March to Matthew's Beat

Matthew is our miracle baby!


My baby brother, Matthew Joshua, was born on November 10, 2008 with several severe congenital heart defects including pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect (VSD), atrial septal defect (ASD), and most recently, stenosis of the pulmonary branch arteries. In Matthew’s short life he has endured two open heart surgeries, three heart catheterizations, and many other invasive procedures.
**You can also follow Matthew's story on his care page:
**Follow the link below to a video montage of Matthew that I made to raise awareness for CHDs, make sure to turn on the speakers:

After first open heart surgery in NOV 2008.

After second open heart surgery in JULY 2009.


Congenital heart defects (CHD) are America’s and every country’s #1 birth defect. Nearly 1 of every 100 babies are born with a CHD. Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a CHD. Out of those born, thousands of them will not reach their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has stated that congenital heart defects are a serious and under appreciated global health problem. CHDs are common and deadly, yet research is grossly under-funded relative to the prevalence of the disease. Only one penny of every dollar donated to the American Heart Association goes towards CHD research. Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward CHD research. In the United States alone, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHDs (The Children’s Heart Foundation). RAISE AWARENESS!!!

NOVEMBER 14, 2009
8 AM - 12 PM

Come with us to MARCH TO MATTHEW'S BEAT! Matthew's turning *1* and to honor our little heart hero's birthday, we are doing the Strong Legs Marathon in Atlanta, GA on November 14th at Turner Field. We would love for our family and friends to come join us in this event and sign up to walk for Matthew. I can't think of any better way to celebrate and honor Matthew's 1st birthday, than to give back to the people that have given so much to us. If you cannot attend, we would love for you to be with us in spirit and if you can, any donation, big or small, would be greatly appreciated.

All proceeds go to pediatric cardiac research at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Sibley Heart Center, the groups that saved Matthew's life!

This past month has been a perfect example of why this fundraiser is so important! Matthew went in for his 3rd heart catheterization on October 20, 2009. News as of Wednesday was that if at any point the things they are doing for Matthew do not continue to work, there is nothing else that can be done. The doctors are doing all that they can do for Matthew. Due to the nature of Matthew’s defects not even a heart or lung transplant could save his life. ** I cannot accept that there may be a point when nothing can be done to help him! All proceeds collected by Matthew go to the cardiac department at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for pediatric cardiac research. We need to raise awareness for Congenital ♥ Defects. PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL OF YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR MATTHEW!

**If you would like to make a donation in honor of Matthew go to the following link:

**If you would like to join our team, March to Matthew’s Beat, go to the following link and register:

Thanks for all of your prayers and support!!!
Please forward this event to everyone you know. Together we can make a difference!
♥ Ashley Langston