Wear Red for Heart Disease Awareness Month

Allison Grosenick, Reporter

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Have you ever gone to a family gathering or hung out with a bunch of your grandparent’s friends and they start talking about all the diseases and illnesses they have? Did any one of them mention heart disease? If you have, it is important to know that it’s not something that is just for old people. I bring this up because February is Heart and Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month.  

I was born with a heart defect that changed my life forever. I had three open heart surgeries when I was six months, two and three years old. Now imagine being a kid and not knowing why there is a ten-inch scar and twelve tube scars on your chest. Then, imagine being eight years old and wanting to play soccer but you can’t because you have a heart defect. Imagine playing softball since you were knee high but once you get to high school your cardiologist said you couldn’t play anymore. This was my life growing up. Although it has affected my life negatively, it has also opened many doors for me. I am going to be graduating and working for non-profits to benefit kids at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. I have been in the process of creating my own non-profit called Cardiac Quilts. Most importantly I met an amazing group of ladies through a support group. I wouldn’t have met them if I was born healthy.  

This is the reason February is important. My life has revolved around having a heart defect and most people think I got it from not being healthy or some other reason, but I was born with it. It is a congenital heart defect, meaning I’ve had it since birth. The month of February is for people to get educated on what is important. Congenital heart defects can happen to anyone. Every 1 in 110 babies are born with some type of heart defect.  

Because of February being Heart Disease Awareness Month, I have met a few people on campus who also have a congenital heart defect. With that being said, consider participating in the events listed below that are coming up in a few short days to show your fellow students support. 

Events coming up:  

  • CHD week February 7 -14 
  • Wear Red on Thursday February 7 to kick off CHD week
  • Wear Purple on Friday February 8 to show support for everyone living with a CHD  
  • Roar ‘n Run Virtual Race Wednesday February 6–14