Two Ways to Help Kids with Cardiomyopathy Today

I am still a devoted fan of “Grey’s Anatomy” and a recent storyline has only served to increase that devotion. The last four episodes featured a major storyline about three siblings with dilated cardiomyopathy. That is not only a form of pediatric cardiomyopathy, but it is the EXACT form Lucy battled.

I FREAKED out.

The feeling of gratitude many parents feel when their child’s obscure, fatal disease is featured on a prominent TV show is overwhelming. You feel like no one knows or understands what your child and your whole family are going through and then a popular TV show dramatizes it for millions of viewers. You feel understood. You feel hope that the right person or people will get the message and we will finally get that effective treatment or cure.

“Grey’s” pretty much nailed their portrayal of a family living with DCM. I was prepared to find faults with it, but, except for their focus on an environmental cause for the three siblings’ cases (That’s possible, but three siblings all with DCM screams genetic cause to me.) and their dropping the search for a cause like a hot potato after the first episode, they did well. They captured the feeling of living in the hospital for weeks with your children, as well as the feeling of hopelessness parents and even doctors can feel when faced with pediatric cardiomyopathy.

It finally occurred to me last week that it would really help if “Grey’s” featured the URL for Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation at the end of one of the episodes or even had some of the actors give a short spiel about the sobering statistics of the disease, as they have done with other diseases before. I think the DCM arc might be over and filming is done for the season, but they still might be able to add something, either now or next season. So, here is a way you can help families living with pediatric cardiomyopathy today. It’s free and only takes minutes.

If you have a Twitter account, please post the following tweet:

@shondarhimes @ccfheartkids Thanx for featuring DCM on GA! Could you pls put this URL on-air http://www.childrenscardiomyopathy.org . It would mean so much!

If you are only on Facebook, you can post on the Facebook pages for Shonda Rhimes (creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”) and for “Grey’s Anatomy” itself.

While I’m at it, this part isn’t free, but it’s still easy. J If you can, please donate to CCF’s Spring Appeal. They recently discovered that only 65 cents of every $100 of federal funding for heart problems goes to pediatric cardiomyopathy. They want to fund another study in 2014 and they need our help. You can donate by going to www.childrenscardiomyopathy.org. Simply select “Research” in the drop down box when you make your donation. We will be making a donation for the first anniversary of Lucy’s death this May. Even if you can’t donate, please spread the word. We aren’t going to find the cure with 65 cents for every $100.

Finally, keep an eye out, because Team Lucy, last year’s number one community team for the Austin Heart Walk, will be back in a matter of weeks!

Thank you all so much for your support.

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