Sunday, February 08, 2009

Awareness Week

It's CHD Awareness Week again! In the past year I've met many heart patients and parents, medical staff and support groups, many of whom I know will be lifelong friends. I created the CHD Blog (check out today's entry - an amazing post by my friend Josie!) as a neutral information dissemination tool, and it's really taken off. But I wanted to do more.

This time last year I, for the life of me, could not understand why there were such paltry efforts at a national awareness campaign. I didn't get why there were so many groups, with animosity between some.

Well, now I know. I jumped in full steam last year, volunteering with a variety of groups, testing the waters to find out who was out there, what they were doing and how I could help. I worked on national efforts for cohesion and strength within the groups. I spent a lot of time trying to mend fences and bring people together. I spent even more time behind the scenes working on projects that no one else had "time" to address. And in the end, after all the work put in, I threw my hands up in frustration and stepped back away from most of the groups I'd so willingly jumped in to help. Why? What caused me to back away from something I feel so strongly about?

I've been asking myself that very question. And I think I hit upon the answer My efforts last year didn't amount to a hill of beans in the bigger picture. In the process of giving my time and energy, I encountered many negative people who diverted my attention from the reason I'm working so hard at this. And in that, momentum was lost. I wonder how many others have walked that same path - I know I'm not alone.

And so this year, I'm readjusting my focus. My pledge for the next year is to find new and innovative ways to contribute. To surround myself with positive and hopeful heart warriors like myself and to ensure that my efforts are more guided and focused, really targeting and impacting the need for awareness, which in turn will lead to greater advocacy in the health and government systems and stronger research funding. I think I'm on the right path, and feel good about that.

As with last year, I'll be posting an entry every day, CHD related, during CHD Awareness Week. This year will be a bit different from last - no long lists, no big plans. Just open talk and interesting articles about life with CHD. And to kick off the week, I'd like to share a video that's been circulating lately...

1 comment:

  1. Very uplifting video. It was weird. While I was watching it I was feeling sad, happy, sad, happy... had experienced those moments before! If you don't mind, I'm sharing this on my blog. Thanks for sharing, Kim.