This event was created by the HeartKids organisation. A not-for-profit charity organisation focusing on supporting those who have congenital heart disease. First Aid Pro was delighted to take part in the Two Feet and A Heartbeat Charity Walk event. We thought we’d take this opportunity to write a blog post discussing congenital heart disease, the charity, how you can support the community, as well as a little bit about the event itself!
What is Congenital Heart Disease?
Congenital heart disease is the most common birth condition that affects 1 in 100 children born in Australia. It impacts the heart in various different ways, causing the heart to be less effective at pumping blood around the body. It can cause serious long-term health complications, generally requiring urgent and constant treatment. The most common CHD problems are:
A Hole in the Heart: This can be between heart chambers or in the blood vessel. It can reduce the amount of oxygen pumped around the body. Holes in different locations in the heart can affect other parts of the heart and its effectiveness.
Complications with Blood Vessels: this can be a complication from the blood vessel being too narrow or a group of blood vessels forming incorrectly around the heart. It can affect how the heart functions and can cause stress within the heart.
Complications with Heart Valves: If a valve doesn’t operate correctly or is deformed, it can cause blood to leak back into the heart’s chambers and put an extra strain on the heart itself.
It is possible for a baby to be born with a combination of heart defects, increasing the severity and challenges of the disease.
Congenital heart disease can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after birth. These tests can help determine if an infant or adult has CHD:
- a test that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood
A child diagnosed with CHD might experience these symptoms:
- Blue skin, lips or fingernails
- Quickness of Breath
- Bad blood circulation
- Swollen Stomach, Legs, Ankles and Hands
- Cannot gain weight effectively
Older Children with CHD might experience:
- Being breathless or tired quickly during any exercise
- Fainting during or after exercise
- Frequent chest infections
- Issues with growth (especially with muscles)
Living with CHD
CHD is a painful and harmful disease. Living with it can be very difficult and can require a lot of medical attention and support. The HeartKids website has plenty of blog articles on people who have CHD and how they have combated it. They also have a great support network for those who are struggling with CHD and its drastic physical and mental impacts.
Who are HeartKids, and How Do They Help?
HeartKids are a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on fighting for and supporting those affected with CHD. Whether it be a loved one or even a friend, HeartKids is all about supporting and raising awareness for them and the disease. The organisation was created in 2016 and has quickly multiplied over the years. They have run many successful charity events and even camping trips for the children affected.
The latest event was the Two feet and A HeartBeat Charity Walk event. This event was run all across the country on the 17th of October and had participants walk four kilometres in honour of the four lives lost per week to the disease. In Adelaide, we had three of our First Aid trainers and the head office manager attend the event to support those affected. Our team at First Aid Pro is passionate about helping and supporting the community, and we’re proud to have participated in this fantastic event.
The charity event was held on a Sunday at West Beach. Gifted with beautiful weather, there was a fantastic turnout. The structure of the event allowed everyone to have a Tea, Coffee and some Pies. There were also family fun activities before and after the walk, including yoga.
This event raised well over the $250,000 goal, hitting an outstanding $383,825 from 8518 people worldwide who donated towards the charity event. The money raised goes towards supporting children with CHD and families who are affected by it. It also allows the HeartKids Organisation to campaign for increased government support and introduce new initiatives into the government and the broader medical community. Some of these initiatives are working towards implementing an Action Plan for CHD and promoting increased research into the condition. Not only that but raising awareness for the disease and its impacts. The charity has contributed a great deal since it was established in 2016. Built from the ground up, it now receives over a million dollars from its charity events and grants, which go towards an important cause—supporting families and children all over Australia.
How can you support HeartKids?
Supporting the HeartKids Charity can be done in many ways. No matter how big or small, any contribution counts! Whether it be volunteering at an event or buying a HeartKids branded face mask. It will always go towards helping and supporting the community. Here is a small list of the activities you can do to support the community.
Volunteering: This is a great way to give back to the community and support those in need. HeartKids has multiple roles available within the community, such as event organisation and set-up. This can be the Two Feet and A Heartbeat Walk or other events they host. Any amount of help goes a long way and is a great way to gain experience and provide for the community!
Partnership with HeartKids: A Partnership between a business and HeartKids can be great for both parties. A company can sponsor a single event or campaign. This can help the charity and community, supporting it financially and emotionally, as well as promoting the goodwill of the business.
Purchasing Merchandise: This can be a great way to give to the community and receive something in return. There are multiple items and merch you can buy, from t-shirts, bracelets, masks, reusable coffee cups and more! The profits go towards supporting the organisation.
Charity Lottery Tickets: Are a great way to raise funds and enjoy the possibility of receiving some great rewards in return. HeartKids has partnered with two community lottery companies; People’s Choice Community Lottery and Play for Purpose. These lotteries are designed for individuals to purchase a ticket, and the proceeds go towards the charities that participate. The lottery prizes can change from time to time, but generally, it can be a car or an amount of money to win. It’s a great way to support the community whilst also having the chance to win a prize as well.
Participate in an Event: This can be in the form of attending an event or contributing in some manner. The charity organises and hosts multiple events throughout the year. Not only just the Two Feet and Heartbeat Walk, but there are also camping trips, Virtual catch-ups, even Halloween and Christmas events. These events can be a great source of fundraising and spread awareness in the community. It is also an excellent way for the HeartKids community to get together and support each other.
Donations: Donating to HeartKids charity through their website or in person, even donating to an individual member in the community is the easiest and one of the best ways to support those suffering from CHD. The money goes straight towards helping those affected and can be a great way to make sure the children affected are happy, and well looked after.
Other ways to support!
There is a lot more you can do to support the HeartKids charity organisation! If you are interested in seeing how else you can help support the HeartKids community. Please have a look at their website by clicking here.
First Aid Pro will continue to support the HeartKids community, its campaigns and events. We can’t wait for more events in the future and would love to continue playing a part in the growing HeartKids community!