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Raising Awareness Of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

Rep. Kenny Marchant

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Mr. Speaker, I rise to raise public knowledge of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, which is February 7-14, 2012. This week encourages all citizens to increase their awareness, education, and services for Congenital Heart Defects, which each year affect thousands of babies in the State of Texas.

Congenital Heart Defects are the most frequently occurring birth defects and the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths worldwide. Over a million families across America are facing the challenges and hardships of raising children with Congenital Heart Defects. Every year, 40,000 babies are born in the United States with Congenital Heart Defects.

Some Congenital Heart Defects are not diagnosed until months or years after birth, and undiagnosed Congenital Heart conditions cause many cases of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. Despite these statistics, newborns and young athletes are not routinely screened for Congenital Heart Defects, and research on these heart conditions has only recently begun catching up to the problem--but more must be done.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week provides an opportunity for families whose lives have been affected to celebrate life and to remember loved ones lost, to honor dedicated health professionals, and to meet others and know they are not alone. Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week also provides the opportunity to share experience and information with the public and the media, in order to raise public awareness about Congenital Heart Defects. I ask all of my colleagues to join me in honoring February 7-14 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.