Celeste the Bunny

CHD - Congenital Heart Defect

It had been a hard week in the forest. Many animals had been having disagreements and were hurt or angry at each other. Celeste wanted to do something to remind each of her friends how wonderful and special they were. She thought and thought about what she could do.

Then she remembered how her grandma had written her letters when she was sick and whenever she needed cheering up she re-read those special letters.

When Celeste had been a very little bunny the doctors had found something wrong with her heart. For a little while they were not sure if Celeste would be able to get better. She had been in and out of the hospital a lot during that time which had been very hard on everyone. Her grandma had wanted to do something to help Celeste feel better but couldn’t think of anything she could do. So she started writing her letters. Letters about what had happened that day or how much she loved Celeste. Sometimes they were funny and sometimes they were serious. Each one was written on a piece of paper that had been cut into the shape of a heart. Celeste had been too young to read the letters at that time, but her grandma kept writing to her and putting the letters in a special box.

When Celeste was old enough to read, her grandma brought over the box of letters for her birthday, and told her, “I wanted to write to you when you were little and sick. So that you would know that no matter what happened, you are always wanted and loved. Remember how very special your heart is, Celeste, and how much love you have to give to the world.”

That was what Celeste wanted to do for her friends in the forest, remind all of them that they were loved and wanted.

She gathered up her scissors and paper and started cutting out hearts. Soon paper hearts were surrounding Celeste. After she had finished writing the notes, she asked the bluebird family that lived in the tree above her burrow if they could help her deliver them. A short time later, hearts were flying across the forest and being delivered to all the animals that had been unhappy. Celeste smiled as the last paper heart was delivered; it was a little gesture, but hopefully it would make a big difference in a few animals day.

**Please note that the facts given below can be hard for young children to hear and understand. Use your best judgment before reading them the information below.**

A little bit about CHD:

CHD, Congenital Heart Defect, is the most common and deadliest type of birth defect. There is no known cure or prevention at this time. Annually, around 40,000 babies are born with CHD in the United States alone. Nearly all of deaths due to CHD happen within the first year of a child’s life. Over 2 million individuals are currently living with CHD.
What is really sad is that only 1/5 of the amount of money and time is spent researching CHD than that of pediatric cancers, when more than two times the number of children die of CHD than that of all childhood cancers combined. More research needs to be done. More funding is desperately needed. (Paraphrased from Faith’s Angels website).

Celeste is linked with the charity, Faith’s Angels. The parents of a CHD angel founded this charity. They turned their heartbreaking journey into something truly wonderful, as they are working at making strides toward funding research and supporting families who’s little ones suffer from CHD.

To learn more about CHD, please visit:
Faith’s Angels
Mended Little Hearts
Children’s Heart Foundation

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