Spotswood PD Holds CDH Awareness Walk

Gonzolo and Jennifer Garcia were so excited when they learned that they were pregnant with their son, Asher. But during the 20-week ultrasound, they found out that Asher would be born with a rare condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). After his birth, Asher was hospitalized for five months. Given that CDH can be fatal in 33-50% of cases, it was incredibly important to monitor him. Now, at 3 years old, Asher is doing well – and his family is more committed than ever to raising awareness. 

According to an article from Dawn Miller in Tap Into Milltown/Spotswood, the Spotswood Police Department (“Spotswood PD”) recently held a CDH Awareness Walk in mid-October 2022. The walk was planned by Spotswood PD and Marylin Israel, the former Borough Councilwoman and Asher’s grandmother. Many people from the community came out to support Asher and his family. They are so grateful for all of the care and kindness. 

In addition to the awareness walk, the family is also working to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where Asher was treated. Their goal was $5k; at the time of writing this article, they have reached over $5.5K. If you’d like to donate to their cause, you may do so here

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH): An Overview

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a rare condition characterized by one or more diaphragmatic defects. It is typically classified as either a Bochdalek or Morgagni hernia; these differ based on location. Bochdalek hernias, comprising up to 90% of cases, affect the side and back of the diaphragm. Alternately, Morgagni hernias affect the front of the diaphragm. Regardless, CDH occurs when the diaphragm doesn’t close properly during prenatal development, causing the abdominal organs to move up or herniate into the chest. Since this can crowd the chest organs, those with CDH may be born with underdeveloped lungs or lung function issues. 

Those with Morgagni hernias are less likely to have symptoms but if they do, the symptoms will mirror those of Bochdalek hernias. Symptoms can include:

  • Cyanosis (a bluish tint to the skin and lips)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • A chest which develops larger on one side
  • Abnormal or rapid breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Scoliosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • An inward-caving appearance to the abdomen
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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