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American Heart Association raising awareness for heart defects in Michiana

Babies born in Michiana this month will be decked out in red hats to raise awareness for an important cause.

The American Heart Association has a program called “Little hats, Big hearts” and it raises awareness for congenital heart defects.

February is American Heart Month and this week, February 7th through the 14th, is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.

Area hospitals participating include Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Elkhart General, Goshen Health System and Saint Joseph Health System.

A spokesperson for AHA told ABC 57 News that “Little Hats, Big Hearts” started in February 2014 in Chicago. The Windy City collected 300 hats in the first year. Now, the program has expanded to more than 40 states and this is the second year Michiana is participating.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the nation and in Indiana, congenital birth defects are the leading birth defect in newborns. The program raises awareness for both.

Community members can get involved in next year’s program. You can donate red yarn or crocheting and knitting patterns.

To learn more, visit www.heart.org/indiana

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