“Our Heartbreaking Choices” by Christie Brooks

“Our Heartbreaking Choices”
by Christie Brooks, mom to cherub Madison Brooks

Pregnancies aren’t always perfect. Prenatal testing can reveal life-threatening issues with the baby’s health, which can leave a parent contemplating the unthinkable- ending the pregnancy. Christie Brooks, a CHERUBS member, made the heartbreaking decision to interrupt her pregnancy in 2003 when her baby was diagnosed in utero with a left-sided diaphragmatic hernia. Through online support networks she was able to connect with other mothers who made the same agonizing decision, but for a variety of different anomalies. Together they put their stories in a book and self-published it last October. The book, “Our Heartbreaking Choices,” contains the personal stories of 46 women who interrupted their much-wanted pregnancies for medical reasons. The purpose of the book was to share their stories in the hopes of helping other parents who have undergone a similar loss to feel less alone, less isolated, and less stigmatized.

This book is available on Amazon.com


**CHERUBS is not a pro-life or pro-choice organization. Our mission is to help all CDH families and make sure that they have all the information that they need to make informed choices

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Newsletter

We just uploaded the latest issue of CHERUBS newsletter –


Finally the government caught up on something CHERUBS has known for years!

S. 1810: Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act


Several years ago CHERUBS started a movement for better ultrasound technology, information for parents diagnosed with a sick child in utero and support referrals. A parent sent me the link above this morning – Congress finally passed this! How wonderful for all CDH families and families of children born with any birth defect or genetic anomaly! Below is one of the logos that we used back in the day when we petitioned for for this act. We set it aside to work on other things, plus it was getting too sticky (public charities cannot lobby Congress). But isn’t it wonderful that it has finally been passed!?





Summary from the site:

10/8/2008–Public Law.
Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act –
Section 3 –

Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through either the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to authorize and oversee certain activities relating to Down syndrome or other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed conditions. Includes among such activities the awarding of grants, contracts or cooperative agreements to eligible entities to: (1) collect, synthesize, and disseminate current evidence-based information relating to such conditions; and (2) coordinate the provision of, and access to, new or existing supportive services for patients receiving a positive diagnosis for such conditions. Includes within such supportive services: (1) the establishment of a resource telephone hotline; (2) the expansion of the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities; (3) the expansion of national and local peer-support programs; (4) the establishment of a national registry, or network of local registries, of families willing to adopt newborns with such conditions; and (5) the establishment of awareness and education programs for health care providers who provide, interpret, or inform parents of the results of prenatal tests for such conditions.

Requires the Secretary to place an emphasis on funding partnerships between health care professional groups and disability advocacy organizations in distributing funds.
Requires a grantee under this Act to make available to health care providers of parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis: (1) up-to-date, evidence-based, written information concerning the range of outcomes for individuals living with the diagnosed condition, including physical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial outcomes; and (2) contact information regarding support services, including information hotlines, resource centers or clearinghouses, national and local peer support groups, and other educational and support programs. Requires information provided to be culturally and linguistically appropriate and to be approved by the Secretary.

Requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress concerning the effectiveness of current health care and family support programs serving as resources for the families of children with disabilities.