Most Septembers Pine Brook resident Sarah Foye is getting ready to volunteer for the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation’s (CCF) Walk for a Cure. Due to the pandemic, however, this year is a bit different with the walk going virtual. Foye is an advocate for patients with rare muscle and heart disorders, including cardiomyopathy, so Foye's teaming up with CCF is a natural fit.
The Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation is taking the lead in promoting Children’s Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month in September to bring attention to pediatric cardiomyopathy, a chronic and potentially life-threatening disease that affects the heart’s ability to pump blood through the body. The awareness month calls attention to the signs, symptoms, and risk factors for cardiomyopathy and sudden cardiac arrest.
Diagnosing children with cardiomyopathy can be challenging because symptoms are not always obvious. Often referred to as a “silent killer,” those with cardiomyopathy who are not diagnosed face a higher risk of sudden cardiac death, particularly if they are a competitive athlete. According to the American Heart Association, each year more than 7,000 children age 18 years and younger suffer a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), and 90% are fatal.
The Children’s Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month encourages parents and community leaders to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cardiomyopathy in order to identify at-risk children and direct them to the appropriate medical care. Increased attention in this area can help to prevent sudden death. Symptoms vary and include difficulty breathing, fatigue, exercise intolerance, light-headedness, chest pain, heart palpitations, and swelling in certain parts of the body.
It takes a team to defeat cardiomyopathy, so you are invited to form your own walk team or walk virtually with Team CCF. CCF’s virtual walk can take place anywhere and anytime this month. Visit CCF’s Walk 2020 event page (link to https://dev.childrenscardiomyopathy.org/Register-for-CCF-Virtual-Walk-for-a-Cure-77-406?mc_cid=ba2f1c3059&mc_eid=1823dcc67d) to learn about how you can participate.