From Our Editors
After Dr. Angel Perez passed away due to kidney cancer, his wife and children discovered a way to honor his memory. Sonia Perez and her daughters were hosting a recreational picnic for his former patients, many of whom were affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) or childhood acquired heart disease, when they realized that these patients and their families needed somewhere they could gather and receive non-medical financial, emotional, and social support outside the hospital. The Perez family founded Angel's Pediatric Heart House to fill this need. The organization provides free programs and services to South Florida children living with CHD such as financial support during a child’s hospital stay; family fun day social events, which provide opportunities for cardiac kids and their families to come together; monthly hospital outreach to three area children’s hospitals and a free infant items donation program through a partnership with a national baby store retailer. Its programs also function as a tool for group healing. Mommy and Me groups provide opportunities to gain support, the Miles and Millas program delivers care packages to kids undergoing heart surgery, and a national CHD awareness campaign spreads encouragement to families and distributes Heart Shadow Buddies to kids in hospitals.
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