Pediatric Congenital Heart Association launches in Oklahoma

Pediatric Congenital Heart Association launches in Oklahoma

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Pediatric Congenital Heart Association, an organization aimed at improving the lives of those with congenital heart disease, is celebrating their official launch in Oklahoma.

Most people aren’t aware that Congenital heart disease is the number one birth defect in the United States. Well, 7News spoke with a Lawton woman who is working to raise that awareness.

“My why is my son-- Jacob Coin Hancock,” said Jennifer Hancock, the Advocacy, Transparency and Bereavement Coordinator for PCHA Oklahoma.

Jacob had congenital heart disease and unfortunately passed away in April.

“One in 100 babies is born with a congenital heart disease,” said Hancock.

Jacob’s mom is keeping his legacy alive by helping others.

“My passion is helping other children and families with CHD and hopefully stopping anyone else from going through the tragedy that my family has faced,” said Hancock.

And this is the mission of the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association.

“PCHA is a national organization," said Hancock. "We’re trying to get chapters in every state.”

Oklahoma is the newest chapter.

“We are the 15th state in the nation to begin a PCHA chapter here and Texas is not too far behind,” said Hancock.

The state chapter program aims to give knowledge, give a voice and give hope to people with CHD and their families.

“Whether you’re dealing with bereavement, whether you’re needing help advocating, whether you’re needing help with transparency,” said Hancock.

PCHA also contributes to national policy and legislation.

“I think it’s very important that we have groups that are letting us know what’s going on,' said Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, Oklahoma State House Representative. "I think the law is there to support people in their most vulnerable points in their lives.”

“I never imagined myself working in politics or being an advocate but when you have something that is so life changing you realize that you have to help in anyway you can,” said Hancock.

“I think that’s especially admirable when you’ve faced a tragedy because that can go one of two ways. you can use your experiences to be miserable or you can use your experiences to keep others from being miserable,” said Rep. Hasenbeck.

PCHA Oklahoma is a 100 percent volunteer run chapter. For more information out the organization please go to conqueringchd.org/Oklahoma.

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