There are more than 180,000 Canadian children and adults with congenital heart defects (CHD) who need your help.
The Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA) is a volunteer-run organization made up of patients with a congenital heart defect, their friends, families, and the medical community. With your support, we aim to improve the quality of care for these patients, many of whom require lifelong expert care.
CCHA was founded in 2004 to support all Canadians with CHD. One of immediate goals is to raise the profile of adult congenital heart disease in Canada, due to the current lack of funding and support. We want to ensure that adult CHD patients receive the same excellent standard of care as children and at the same level as non-congenital cardiac patients.
CCHA has the strong support of CACH as well as congenital heart healthcare professionals across Canada.
Some facts about congenital heart defects in Canada
CHD is the world's leading birth defect. About 1 in 100 Canadian children are born with CHD. In the past, few made it past their teens. Now, approximately 98% make it to adulthood – resulting in a growing population of young adults who require life-long cardiac care.
Across Canada, there are an estimated 100,000 adults with CHD (outnumbering CHD-affected children). At least half face the prospect of complications, multiple surgeries, and/or premature/sudden death.
There are more Canadians with CHD than there are with Parkinson's disease (100,000), multiple sclerosis (75,000), HIV/AIDS (58.000), cerebral palsy (50.000), or cystic fibrosis (3,600), and yet there is very little awareness, research, or funding.
There are far fewer resources allocated for the care of adult CHD patients than other cardiac patients. As a result, wait times for clinical visits and surgical intervention are much longer than for other cardiac patients – leading to increased anxiety, added risk and even death.
In Canada there are 15 regional facilities to treat adults with CHD – with five designated as "Centres of Excellence".
Research in the area of adult CHD has not reached the level of sophistication observed in other areas of heart disease research – even though CHD-related research has the potential for greater impact.
How You Can Help
Donate by click the CanadaHelps link on the home page of www.cchaforlife.org or by sending a cheque to:
C4-233 Cross Avenue, P.O. Box 233
Oakville, ON L6J 2W9
For more information, please visit www.cchaforlife.org