ACDHO – groups / organizations that truly help and support CDH families and the CDH Community


ACDHO – The Alliance of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Organizations
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/acdho/

Alliance of many CDH Organizations supporting families and research of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. This listserv is for organization founders, presidents and CEO’s to keep each other abreast of research studies, new procedures, and organization problems. By working together as a team we can support each other, and the babies and families, in the fight against CDH.

These are the CDH organizations that truly support these babies and work together. We are a large Global CDH community working to increase research, make sure that all families have information and support and protect CDH awareness so that it belongs to all.

Each organization in ACDHO is equal, there are no leaders. Organizations / groups / sites invited into ACHO have shown high integrity in helping CDH families, offer research or support for CDH and a clear desire to work with the entire CDH community. Invitations are by a majority vote to secure that ACDHO goals remain positive, that the group works well together and that ACDHO is a safe environment to work together to help CDH families.

This listserv / alliance is *not* for individual CDH parents, survivors, etc. Please join the various groups and organizations for CDH information, support, research and awareness that offer services at the member level for CDH families.

Organizations / sites / groups that are members or who have been invited and that show a high degree of integrity in helping the CDH community and that we support are:

CHERUBS
CHERUBS Australia
CHERUBS UK
CHERUBS Mexico
A Rainbow of Hope
Jack Ryan Gillham Foundation
Olivia Raine Foundation
Cody’s Foundation
Kays Kids / Real Hope For CDH
Johns Hopkins Unnamed CDH Group
Little Lambs
The J.C. Nicholson II Research Foundation
En Stitching Hernia Diafragmatica (The Netherlands)
Ernia Diaframmatica Congenita gruppo di supporto (Italy)
Association Hernie Daphragmatique (France)
International CDH Study Group
Toronto Children’s Hospital CDH Clinic
UCSF Fetal Treatment Center
Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard University CDH Clinic
CHOP CDH Clinic
Wisconsin Children’s Hospital
Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
St. Louis Children’s Hospital / Washington University CDH Research
University of Florida, Shands, CDH Clinic

Please show your support to these groups and organizations who support CDH families!

Long Term Support for CDH

One of the new CDH families wrote a blog post last week that really got me thinking. She (rightfully) complained that she was not receiving enough support after bringing home her cherub from the hospital. That feeding issues and therapies were hard and no one was talking about it and she had no where to turn. That the groups she was in just talked about the pregnancy and time immediately after birth and then she was left on her own to go from there. I could feel her frustration and loneliness in her post. I could feel it, because I’ve been there. And that’s what got me thinking.

This mom isn’t an active member of CHERUBS. She’s one of the new families swayed by drama who’ve been told to stay away from CHERUBS. Why? Because we’re one of the groups standing up against those groups who are hurting families. There are dozens of new and expectant parents who are found through blog searches and “befriended” and “recruited” to join “CDH support groups”. New and expectant parents who are at their most vulnerable, already dealing with CDH and in the midst of thier diagnois or grief and caught up in those agendas, drama, slander and the lies told to keep them away from information and support – that they obviously desperately need. It’s shameful and it’s sickening and it’s sad and it breaks my heart that the CDH road is being made harder for families than easier. Those parents and children deserve so much better!

And then I realized we’re partly to blame for this as well. We don’t post what we offer that much. And we offer a ton – more than all the other CDH organizations put together and for 3 times longer. BUT, we work with 90% of the other CDH organization to make life easier for these families! It’s a global group effort through ACDHO and we’ve helped 1000’s of CDH families over the past 14 years.

When my son was born there was NO SUPPORT. No internet, no googling “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia”, no organizations – nothing. When we bought him home, we had no one to turn to. When were in the hospital we had no one to turn to except one other CDH mom. She was a godsend and I love her like a sister to this day – but she will be the first to tell you that she can only give advice and information about the neonatal period. She lost her son at just over a month old – her experiences are very limited and heart-breaking but she can explain about ECMO and CDH repair and vent weaning and staph infections and pneumonia. But she will tell parents – as she told me when Shane came home – that she doesn’t have the experiences to draw accurate advice on how to deal with a CDH baby who lives for a longer time or who does come home. She was all the support I had – and she couldn’t help me.

So I struggled on my own – frustrated, alone and crying almost daily because it’s completely overwhelming to take care of any new baby – much less one who could stop breathing at any moment or for who feeding is a huge ordeal. Don’t get me wrong – I was so BLESSED to bring him home and I knew that – but being home with a sick baby without support was horrible. What I wouldn’t have given to have 1 other CDH parent who had walked in my shoes to tell me it was OK to be upset or disappointed. That it was OK to feel frustrated when my cherub wouldn’t eat. Or it was OK to cry because we couldn’t do the things other parents of healthy children took for granted – like just going to church or shopping around crowds, or not having therapists and nurses in our house all the time, etc. But there was no one.

That’s why CHERUBS was founded. Not in memory of one child. Not in some misguided, grief-stricken, angry quest. Not in some popularity contest. Not in some agenda to profit off of sick children. There was only 1 reason why CHERUBS was founded – to help other CDH families so that no one felt alone and every CDH parent had the information and support that they needed – along with advocating for awareness and research.

At CHERUBS parents talk about Long Term issues associated with CDH. Information and advice given by parents who have walked in the same shoes – not from people who have read about it in other people’s stories. We don’t just focus on birth and CDH repair and getting the babies home. We focus on the whole picture – pregnancy, birth, neonatal and beyond. We have forums for support for feeding issues and developmental delay – things often dealt with for years after coming home. We have forums for older survivors – some of our survivors have graduated high school, college, gotten married and had babies of their own – lives after CDH that is barely charted territory and these survivors especially need support. We also offer support for just the dads and siblings, for grandparents, for other birth defects or genetic issues.

And we offer support to ALL CDH families. Grieving parents know we are ALWAYS there for them, through the deaths and funerals, long after their families and friends have forgotten their cherub’s birthday and angelversaries – we still remember. We support those grieving parents who made all decisions – whether they chose to terminate or go to term – whether they chose extensive medical support or letting their child go at birth. You will never see pro-life or pro-choice issues raised at CHERUBS. We offer parents all the information on CDH possible – so that they can make informed decisions. Not all CDH parents have that information and regret the decisions that they make. We are there to offer ALL CDH families support – not to make personal judgments or religious condemnations.

At CHERUBS there is A LOT of support – usually over 100 posts each day on all of these topics!

At CHERUBS we recommend families get support from as many different sources as possible. From as many different CDH groups as possible. We work hard to have their best interests at heart – to do what’s right for these children and their families.

No one dealing with CDH ever has to deal with any CDH related issue alone again. And in reaching our goal that we set when founded – CHERUBS is a success. Helping families is our goal and will always be.

2009 International Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Conference

Don’t forget to register!

It looks like we’ll have over 100 in attendance this year from at least 5 countries! Plus, amazing guest speakers including Meaghan Russell from Boston Children’s (who will be also be helping families to participate in CDH Research!) and Kevin Lally from the CDH Study Group to give us all the latest news on CDH research and treatments. Also, leaders from several CDH organizations and sites will be there as well!

There will be round-table discussions for parents of survivors and grieving parents, as well as CDH survivors. Entertainment for the kids, tons of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia awareness items and information, a pizza party on the first day and much more! It’s going to be an incredible CDH conference – make sure not to miss it!

http://www.cherubsconference.org/

“I Own Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” Video

Starring over 300 CDH families in the fight against the trademark on “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” filed by Breath of Hope, Incorporated.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cdhawareness/
http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92050284&pty=CAN&eno=2
http://www.cdhsupport.org
http://www.cdhresearch.org

Miracles

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.” ~ Mother Teresa

“The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.” ~ Mother Teresa

“The only way to live is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle, which is exactly what it is: a miracle and unrepeatable.” – Storm Jameson

“A miracle is an event which creates faith. That is the purpose and nature of miracles. Frauds deceive. An event which creates faith does not deceive: therefore it is not a fraud, but a miracle.” – George Bernard Shaw

“For the truly faithful, no miracle is necessary. For those who doubt, no miracle is sufficient.” – Nancy Gibbs

“Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.” – William McNeile Dixon

“Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.” – Marie Lloyd

“Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.” – John Rohn

Take A Stand Against Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

CHERUBS Phone Survey Results

On February 15th, Kohl’s Department Store volunteers conducted a phone survey of CHERUBS members. They called over 250 random members located in the United States. The results are as follows:

Question #1. Are you happy with CHERUBS services?

We had requests for more local events and more newsletters.

Question #2. What other services would you like to see?

Again, we had requests for more local events and more newsletters.

Question #3. Do you plan on attending the 2009 Conference in Texas?

Question #4. Would you be interested in participating in a CDH Research Survey this year?



Question #5. Would you be interested in donating $20.00 a year to help our charity?