Let's support the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) through love and action.

Dear Friends and Family,

As some of you may know, I was born with a congenital heart defect – tetralogy of Fallot with a double outlet right ventricle. I had my first heart surgery when I was three years old, my second when I was 14, a stent implanted when I was 21, and most recently, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Each surgery bought me another decade of life. And a beautiful life it has been!

I have been lucky enough to travel Australia, scale the glaciers of New Zealand, snorkel the coral reefs of the Bahamas, hike the Grand Canyon, hike a Colorado 14-er, play soccer, dance salsa, rock climb, and much more! How have I been able to do all that with a heart that doesn’t function like everyone else’s? With the support of my medical team, and the love of my family and friends.

In 2010, I was introduced to ACHA (Adult Congenital Heart Association) when my cardiologist told me I needed an ICD. I was devastated. At the age of 31, I worried that my quality of life would be forever changed and I wasn’t certain I wanted to sign up for a life that wasn’t fulfilling. He connected me with ACHA because he knew I’d find the support and answers I needed. I learned that my beautiful life wasn’t over. That instead, I actually now have access to other dreams I wasn’t sure were possible, like having my own children.

Thanks to medical advances, for the first time many children with congenital heart defects are living to see adulthood. But unfortunately, there are not enough doctors and hospitals trained to deal with the medical complexities of those children once they become adults. ACHA is an organization that is working to see that adults get the care they need.

Please support me in ensuring that adults living with congenital heart defects have access to a continued beautiful life by donating to ACHA. My goal is to raise $10,000 by my 33rd birthday on November 17th, 2012. These funds will support the mission of ACHA as they seek to improve the quality of life and extend the lives of adults with congenital heart defects, through education, outreach, advocacy, and promotion of research. ACHA serves and supports more than one million adults with congenital heart defects, their families and the medical community. Every dollar counts—please join me in supporting ACHA by making a tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you in advance for your contributions.

With all my heart,

Ta-Shana Taylor

You can also follow my beautiful life of action by visiting my blog www.beautifullife2012.org.

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