Hello Heart Family and friends. My name is Crystal. I'm a 33 yr old Congenital Heart Disease Survivor. Some of you know that I am very passionate CHD advocate & that I have decided to dedicate the rest of my life to fight & speak for the CHD Community. In 2014, I created a page on Instagram @chd_hearts where I advocate and raise awareness for CHD. This page has grown up to 9,700 followers who support my mission! I offer support to heart families around the world by sharing my CHD story, my own personal struggles & experiences growing up and living with CHD. I do my best to encourage CHD Families/Warriors with posts that they can relate to, so that way they are able to express how they feel or think. I reach out to them individually as best as possible and answer their questions or concerns. I have done alot of CHD Advocacy over the past 6 years specifically online,for magazines,blogs,my local news channel and radio station and I have also delivered many speeches to raise awareness about CHD in front of hundreds of people in my local community. Im honored to say that I have become an award winning spokesperson and a very adamant CHD Advocate. In 2014,I managed to win an award from the American Heart Association for the 2014 spokesperson and Social Media champion for their Los Angeles county division. The chd_hearts page has also been featured on different online blogs which has led the page to become one of the most known CHD communities on Instagram. I am very proud of my accomplishments as a CHD advocate but that is only the beginning. My ultimate goal is to make the CHD world a better place some way, somehow. Personally, I was born with HRHS (Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome) and I've had 6 open heart surgeries total throughout my life to survive. When I was 14 yrs old, in the hospital recovering from my 7th OHS someone gave me a heart shaped pillow as a gift. I remember this pillow made me smile. It was cuddly, soft and I could hug it as much as i wanted to. It gave me a lot of comfort when I was in the hospital recovering. I also remember what the person told me when she gave it to me. She said when I needed to cough to just hug it and that my chest wouldn't hurt so much. After OHS , it hurts to cough, sneeze and move but this pillow helped reduce the pain from my chest . This memory has inspired me to make pillows for my fellow heart brothers and sisters. During Heart month 2018(February) I finally decided to make this project a reality, I went ahead and had a few pillows custom made to donate to the heart warriors at my local children's hospital. When I created CHD hearts I also started providing a support system that I like to call "Giving Hope 1 heart at a time"
I personally go visit Heart families at my local children's hospital ,CHLA ,where I was also a heart patient till age 21. I had 2 of my open heart surgeries there as well. During my visits, I encourage heart families by sharing my own struggles with CHD and I also give my little fellow heart warriors a gift from my heart. So far the heart families loved the pillows!! Since I only had a limited supply I can not provide more pillows for more heart warriors. I only had a few made to see how it turned out. Turns out the heart families on my chd hearts page would love to get these pillows to all their heart warriors as well. Unfortunately, I, alone, do not have the means or the supplies to make this possible. So I have decided to make this fundraiser and I am asking everyone , whether you have been touched by CHD or not, to help me continue spreading hope to all the heart warriors/families around the world. With all of your donations and support ,Not only would I continue to donate the pillows to my local children's hospitals but i will also ship pillows to all the heart warriors around the world !! Did you know ? Congenital Heart Disease is the #1 birth defect worldwide. 1 in 100 babies are born with CHD. There is no cure for CHD. Only surgeries, medications and treatment. CHD is a life long illness but it is also the leading cause of death in infants. Till this day I am still in treatment for my CHD but I share my testimony to spread hope across the world. To show all heart families that there is a possibility that all heart warriors CAN survive to adulthood like me. Please support my efforts and help me bring hope to all heart families worldwide!! I thank you from the bottom of my broken heart , in advance for all your donations. Heart Hugs, - Crystal, A CHD Survivor,Warrior & Advocate