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BABIES NEED OPEN-HEART SURGERIES TOO
BABIES NEED OPEN-HEART SURGERIES TOO
“Babies need open-heart surgery too”, with this year’s strong awareness campaign slogan, the Brave Heart Fund wanted to strike tough. Every year, 1 in 100 babies is born with heart disease. About 400 of these children will need some form of treatment.

If untreated, about 70% of babies with complex CHD will not live to see their first birthday. To talk about these facts and many related others; a press conference was organized by the Brave Heart Fund at the Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel. On the agenda, the launch of the 2009 Awareness Campaign for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in cooperation with Children’s Heart Center at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, the achievements of the Brave Heart Fund since its establishment in 2003, and upcoming projects. A great number of medical and social figures were present as well as many key people from medical centers and personalities among which the Lebanese Minister of Public Health, Dr. Mohamad Jawad Khalifeh, and the Brave Heart Fund Committee. Mrs. Joumana Ghandour Atallah, one of the Fund’s founding members introduced the Brave Heart Fund and confirmed that since its inception 5 years ago it has covered the medical expenses of over 500 babies and children.

Dr. Fadi Bitar, Director of the Children’s Heart Center at the American University of Beirut and Brave Heart Fund founding member, presented briefly Congenital Heart Disease: “CHD is the most common birth defect and the leading cause of death in the first year of life. At least 35 types of defects are recognized, ranging from simple to complex malformations. The causes of most CHD are still unknown”. During the press conference, the Brave Heart Fund dynamic team reviewed the achievements of the NGO since 2003 which included school outreach programs, fundraising events and of course the awareness campaigns.

To date, the Brave Heart Fund treated 530 children with over 1500 donors. In a continuous effort to inform the public about its mission and activities, the Brave Heart Fund announced its planned activities for 2009.

These initiatives will engage civil society and increase the number of lives saved. Upcoming projects include:
  • A fundraising Gala Dinner on March 13, 2009
  • An awareness message at the 62nd Cannes Festival from May 13 to 24, 2009 during which a Brave Heart Fund video spot will run on four giant outdoor screens. This operation is in collaboration with outdoor broadcaster SpotVision.
  • A fundraising Fashion Show in collaboration with “Lola et Moi” on May 17th, 2009
  • Participation at the upcoming 6th Beirut International Marathon, November 2009, as Partner NGO A 29-second TV spot based on an original concept by Impact BBDO, highlighting the fact that heart disease affects children as well as adults was screened during the Press Conference. The spot is directed by Mazen Fayad and produced by the Fantastic Film Factory. The spot will be aired on all national TVs during March 2009. “I truly believe that the information about this cause is not enough and sufficiently disseminated; My concern when I did the spot was to contribute by increasing attention on the fact that “No child dies of heart disease because of a lack of funds”, stated film director Mazen Fayad. About the Brave Heart Fund The Brave Heart Fund is a charitable fundraising initiative established in 2003 at the American University of Beirut Medical Clinic (AUBMC). It is operated by volunteers whose lives have been touched by Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). The Brave Heart Fund provides financial assistance to needy families by helping them cover their child’s medical or surgical expenses. Brave Heart Fund goals: work towards the day when no child dies of heart disease because of a lack of funds, increase awareness about CHD and ensure the best possible care for children suffering from CHD.

For more information: www.braveheartfund.org

Donations can be made to:
AUB- Brave Heart Fund
Office of Development/Medicine - American University of Beirut
PO Box 11-0236
Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
Tel: + 961 1 366 445