Monday, January 26, 2015

PERSONAL :: Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day

have a heart, help save a heart, my hero, kd foundation

Today is National Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day - January 26th. Did you know that? Do you even know what this is? Have you ever even heard about this disease before? 

No worries if you haven't as only about 4200 cases are reported in the U.S. every year so unfortunately it is one of those diseases without a LOT of answers yet. It is a very rare but dangerous disease.

Here are some facts:
- KD affects people from all racial and ethnic groups
- KD is characterized by an inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body 
- there is NO specific testing a doctor can do, therefore it is based on physical findings that include:
  1. a fever that lasts for five or more days
  2. a rash on the main part of the body but often is worse in the groin region
  3. extremely red and bloodshot eyes without a thick discharge
  4. bright red, swollen and cracked lips and a 'strawberry' tongue
  5. swollen hands and feet and redness of the palms and soles of the feet
  6. swollen lymph nodes in the neck

- KD is NOT contagious
- KD is the #1 cause of acquired heart disease in U.S. children
- KD primarily affects children under the age of FIVE

These are just a FEW of the facts on this disease. Make sure and do yourself a favor by heading over to the Kawasaki Foundation's website, so you can know the facts and be educated about this rare disease that is on the rise. It could save someone you love or someone you know.

Before you go, let me introduce you to a very special little boy to me. 

This little guy here . . .the one with this BIG personality. This is Samuel. We call him 'Sam the man' as he is a HERO to a lot of people. Why you ask? He was diagnosed over four years ago with Kawasaki Disease and is living proof that by educating yourself and knowing the signs early enough, you can save a heart. Is he going to be able to do everything a healthy kid his age does? No, but that's ok. We have to look out for his heart, as it's a special one and it's been affected by the disease but we all are hoping with him on his meds and a whole lot of continued prayers that he will be our special little hero forever . . . because 'normal' is boring anyway and heroes ROCK. Especially this one.

He is OUR HERO because he doesn't let this disease define him. He takes it all in stride, never complaining and is always good for a laugh. He is just chill.

He is ONE of the COOLest kids I know and I am proud to be his aunt. I love you little buddy and I will always have your back! xoxo

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Looking forward to seeing you again! :)

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