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Published on January 29, 2016

Little hats convey a big message

little hatsBaby’s hats have been collected at UHS Stay Healthy at the Oakdale Mall to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke. Members of the community donated 120 red knitted and crocheted hats that will be given to babies born at UHS Wilson during February, American Heart Month. “We are raising awareness of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the world,” said Megan Farmer of UHS. The effort is part of “Little Hats, Big Hearts,” an American Heart Association program launched in Chicago in February 2014.

It started with 300 hats collected in Illinois, and has since spread to 29 other states. The person who donated more hats than anyone else to the drive in Broome County is Endicott resident Penny Fox, who contributed 50 hats in honor of her son, Bryan, who was born with congenital heart defects. “I am donating to this great cause in honor of Bryan, to spread awareness of congenital heart defects in children and adults,” Ms. Fox said. Infants at UHS and Lourdes Hospital will receive the hats that were collected in the Greater Binghamton area, and their parents will get valuable heart-health information at the same time. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the American Heart Association, all newborns in New York State receive pulse oximetry testing before they leave the hospital to help detect any congenital issues.

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