About 150,000 babies are born in the United States with a birth defect each year, many with conditions so rare that most parents — and even some physicians — have never heard of them.
There are thousands of different birth defects. And while there has been a lot of research to advance our knowledge, the causes of some birth defects are still unknown. Too often, families aren’t made aware of the treatments available at a place like the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, and they are left feeling overwhelmed, with few options.
Spreading the word about these conditions and the treatment options available is vital, and you can help. As a family member or friend of a child with a birth defect you have a unique perspective and a distinctive voice. Sharing your personal experience is the most powerful advocacy tool that exists. Engaging and educating the public and our leaders is an essential step toward improving access to care, increasing funding for scientific research and educational programs, and passing laws that will allow for crucial early diagnosis and treatment.
Here are some ways you can get involved and become an advocate for children with birth defects:
- Know the facts so that you can speak with confidence about birth defects and share your knowledge.
- Share your personal story with local media outlets or on social media to build awareness and offer hope to newly diagnosed families.
- Use social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to educate friends and family.
- Use your blog as a platform to tell personal stories and share resources and information about birth defects.
- Advocate for laws and funding at the local, state or federal level by writing to your elected officials.
- Give hope. Donate to the CFDT or fundraise on our behalf. Charitable gifts, large and small, make possible every lifesaving treatment, every breakthrough discovery, ensuring the best outcome for both patients: mother and baby.
Every little bit you do to spread the word will inspire others to do the same, and together we can make a real difference and offer hope to countless families around the world!
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