Friday, November 30, 2012

In Memory of Cora: Newborn Heart Defect Screening Awareness Day

November 30 - Newborn Heart Defect Screening Awareness Day

With the incredible honor of being chosen as part of the Global Team of 200, I have had the privilege of "meeting" other moms and reading their stories. Although I have never talked with Kristine, Cora's story broke my heart when I read it. (Read it here.) It broke for the life taken so soon and it broke for her mom and family. No mom should ever have to lose her child while she holds her so lovingly. Cora's mom is Kristine Brite McCormick. 

Since her sweet, precious baby left this world, Kristine has found ways to raise awareness and keep her daughter's memory alive. Although she was only 5 days young when she left this world, her story will outlive us all. Cora's story and influence is saving lives. 

Cora died from Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). About 1% of babies are born with congenital heart defect (CHD) or malformation. 

Newborn Heart Defect Screening Day is to encourage you to ask your doctor (or your pediatrician) to do a simple, external test of the oxygen level in your newborns capillaries. By doing a simple check of a newborns oxygen reading by pulse oximeter (pulse ox), doctors can detect low oxygen levels which can lead to finding a heart defect in your child. 

Have you ever had your vital signs taken and they place the probe on your finger with the red light? That is the pulse oximeter. It is painless and non-invasive and takes only seconds. A painless test that takes only seconds that could save your baby's life and save you a world of pain. 

Take time to educate yourself and ask your doctor. We plan for months awaiting the arrival of our little bundles of joy, why not ask for this simple test. 

Please note that not all CHD or malformations will can be detected by the pulse ox. This is just a broad over view and should be used to help catch something. If you have a family history of CHD or serious concerns. Please talk in more detail with your doctor. Although some CHD and malformations can be missed, you at least know you did everything you could do to detect it. 

Honor Cora's Memory by pledging to have your newborn screened. I pledge, if we have another child, to have the Newborn Heart Defect Screening performed. 

My thoughts and prayers are with Cora's parents as they celebrate her birthday without her.  

Kristine, what a legacy your angel is leaving behind. All thanks to her amazing mommy, who loved her so much that she doesn't want another mom to feel her pain. As a fellow mom I am inspired by your work and love. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The REAL Awards

The REAL Awards are awards given to deserving healthcare workers who go above and beyond to help others in their jobs and helping others in their communities.

Save The Children, The Bill & Melinda Children Foundation and Frontline Health Workers Coalitioned have come together to help people honor and thank health care workers who are making a difference in peoples lives every day.

A quote from Mary Beth Powers from the Save The Children Website explains why these awards are important.
"Every year, awards are given to recognize the accomplishments of celebrities, actors, singers, athletes and entertainers," said Mary Beth Powers, Campaign Chief for Save the Children's Newborn and Child Survival Campaign. "Alongside the Oscars and Golden Globes in January, we will begin to honor a group of people who rarely receive recognition or accolades — health workers."

As a registered nurse, I am quiet fond of healthcare workers. Healthcare workers see people at all stages of life and in all emotional states. We see you when you are at your worst and sometimes when you are at your best. We help you when you do not want help. We help you when you cannot help yourself. Helping you is not just our job, but our passion.

Think back to when you had your children or when a loved one was in the hospital or you were under the care of a healthcare worker. Did anyone stand out to you? Did anyone help your stay more pleasant? Did you have anyone come into your home and help you once you got discharged from the hospital?

Healthcare workers take on many roles and have many different job titles. Think through those you have met and if you feel any are worthy of nomination, pick a below to nominate them!

The categories to nominate healthcare workers are as follows:

Newborn and Mother Care
Pediatric Care
Chronic Disease Care
Hospice Care
Emergency Care
Veteran Care
At-Home Care
General Health Worker

You can find a the Official Rules here.

You only have until tomorrow, November 29, 2012 to nominate the special healthcare worker in your life. Take time to show them they made a difference in your life by nominating them for this amazing award.

(Voting will begin taking place on November 30, 2012).

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Malala Day

Today is Malala Day.

Malala Yousafzai has become the face for Global Education.

Malala is a 14 year old girl that lives in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. This area was taken over by the Taliban in 2009. She was asked to keep a blog about how the Talibans presence effected her life. Malala blogged under the name Gul Makai to protect herself and family from the Taliban. She blogged for 10 weeks and then her family moved to another area when military operations began in the area. The Taliban did not want any girls attending school so there was constant threat of school being cancelled or banned. Malala became very vocal about her right to an education. She began speaking up for herself and other girls and children around the world who do not have access or are just denied the ability to go to school.

Because of her continued fight and perseverance for the right for education for girls and children everywhere, she was runner-up for the International Children's Peace Prize 2011.

On October 9, 2012, a man came onto the school van and asked who Malala was and then shot her and two other girls. Malala was shot in the head and neck. All of the girls are still recovering from their physical, mental, and emotional wounds.

Today on Malala Day, we stand with Malala to show support for her, the two other girls shot alongside her, and all of the other children who are denied access to an education.

Look at these stats:

61 Million children shut out of primary school
34 Million adolescent girls not in school
16 Million children with disabilities not in school, with 1/4 of these children being blind.

Every child deserves a right to learn. When we educate children, we create a future for them.

I stand with Malala and all of the other children around the world longing for an education.

Take action today and sign this petition to call upon all the countries to outlaw discrimination against girls. Sign the petition to help ensure that the 61 million children who are not in school will be by the end of 2015.

Sign it for Malala. Sign it for the girls of the world.

Visit for more information.
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