In New Zealand, a fighter is born around once every 14 hours. These are the 12 babies born with a heart defect every week, often receiving their first battle scar from open heart surgery in the first few days of their lives. August is @Heart Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to support the charity that makes a real difference in the lives of these children.
All Blacks legend Tana Umaga is one of the stars of the ‘Scars are for Fighters’ awareness campaign for @Heart, the charity that provides support services for New Zealand kids born with a congenital heart condition and their families.
Tana Umaga supports @Heart Awareness Month
Helping young people is something close to Tana’s heart as he has set up a foundation dedicated to helping underprivileged young Kiwis to achieve their potential.
‘I got involved with @Heart initially because it was for kids. After meeting the kids and their families, it really hit home what a tough start to life these kids have had and how they have become real little battlers!’ says Tana.
‘It is very sobering to meet these fighters and hear their stories! I urge everyone to support these heart kids by making a donation to @Heart.’
What does @Heart do?
@Heart CEO Lorraine Warshaw says, ‘Congenital heart disease is often spoken of as a hidden disability. It’s not until you see the long scar on the chest of the heart child that you know there is something wrong with his or her little heart.
‘In fact, their heart condition is not simply a health issue. It affects all aspects of the lives of both the child and the family and they need our support to help them fight their battle with congenital heart disease.”
The charity has been supporting heart kids and their families since 1984, providing free services to them through a network of 18 affiliated branches across the country. With appropriate and timely support, heart kids can successfully cope with the challenges of their heart condition and lead a fulfilling life.
What can I do for @Heart?
During Awareness Month, a series of activities will take place in different parts of the country including the Heart Stopper Challenge in Auckland’s Takapuna on Thursday 9 August and memorial services for our heart kids who have lost their battle. You can participate in these events, or help by making a donation to @Heart.
Donations can be made at any branch of ASB Bank. You can also donate online via @Heart’s donation website www.givingatheart.org.nz, or by texting HEART to 2427 for a $3 donation. You can also help by making a gold coin donation during the national street appeal on Friday 10 August; keep a look out for volunteers with @Heart’s donation buckets on streets and in shopping malls.
Photo / Supplied