Every year I’ve been aware of my condition when this time of the year comes around, I’ve seen my mother share posts about educating others and creating awareness about Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). Many times, she has posted some of our own, and many, similar to those I’ve seen from other parents of heart warriors: the pictures in the CICU, pictures of syringes and chest tubes, IV’s and respirators. I think most times it’s meant to show others that our struggle is real and that the battle to stay alive, in spite of our diagnosis, is real as well.
But this year, this week, I wanted to do something different. I am no longer a CHD baby, but I have not yet transitioned to an adult congenital heart defects specialist. I am a teen, and I want to address, not only other teens that have a CHD like me and need to know that they’re not alone, but also teens who don’t. I want to reach out to teens who have a healthy heart and might not always understand what it’s like. And if I help others come to terms with their condition, and give them hope that you can grow up with a CHD, even better!
I chose to frame this campaign through fashion. Fashion seems to be the universal language for teens, but even more so, fashion changes constantly and so do we. I wanted to portray that those of us who are survivors, warriors who wear our battle scars (which others may see as imperfections) can feel beautiful as well despite our “defects” or “flaws.” I want to use this common interest to reach out to others and open up the conversation about congenital heart defects, which is a topic that otherwise, might not come up in casual conversation. Plus, what better trend than creating awareness for a good cause?
It’s cool to see the images, but it’s even better to create awareness and educate. Help me share these images and come back daily as I will be posting a new one each day. Let’s create awareness together, so #ShareDontStare.