Sweetheart Day by HeartKids Australia

Sweetheart Day is an annual campaign coordinated by HeartKids. Sweetheart Day falls on Valentine's Day and aims to raise awareness and funds for those affected by childhood-acquired and congenital heart disease (CHD).
Sweetheart Day is an annual campaign coordinated by HeartKids. Sweetheart Day falls on Valentine's Day and aims to raise awareness and funds for those affected by childhood-acquired and congenital heart disease (CHD).

Sweetheart Day is a campaign focused on raising funds and awareness around congenital and childhood-acquired heart disease.

Every day, eight babies are born in Australia with congenital heart disease (CHD) and four lives are lost to it each week.

In Australia, Sweetheart Day falls on Valentine’s Day (14 February) - the two dates are aligned to remind people of hearts and the importance of caring for someone special.

Continue reading for more information on Sweetheart Day, who it affects, and how to raise funds for families and children in need.

Sweetheart Day

Sweetheart Day started in 2015 to honour and highlight the brave babies, children, and adults that live with CHD.

It is run by HeartKids, an Australian non-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and advocating for all people impacted by childhood heart disease.

The funds raised from Sweetheart Day go towards HeartKids' nationwide network of support services and programs, including:

  • 1800 Helpline
  • Parent education programs
  • Family financial assistance
  • In-hospital support initiatives

There is no known cure for CHD, so welcoming a 'heart kid' can be life changing. HeartKids is a critical lifeline for families as they face the emotional and financial stress of repeated heart surgeries and ongoing medical treatment.

Congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is an umbrella term for any abnormalities of the heart, heart valves, or major blood vessels that are present at birth, including:

  • Aortic valve disease, when the valve between the lower left heart chamber and the aorta does not work properly and causes flood to flow backward
  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), when there is a hole in the wall dividing the upper chambers of the heart that may force the right side of the heart to work harder and become weak
  • Mitral Valve Disease, when the valve located between the left heart chambers does not work properly and may reduce blood flow between the two

In most cases, the exact cause of CHD is not known, though certain abnormalities can run in families.

It is estimated that more than 66,000 Australians are living with CHD, many of whom are not served by the existing health care system.

Get involved

To donate, register and/or host a fundraiser event, visit the official website for Sweetheart Day.

Funds raised from Sweetheart Day go towards HeartKids' wider mission to:

  • Support, empower, and advocate for people and families affected by CHD
  • Unite researchers, clinicians, and the wider community through research and action plans for better health outcomes

Final thoughts

Sweetheart Day is a campaign on 14 February to raise funds and awareness for childhood-acquired and congenital heart disease (CHD).

CHD encompasses a variety of different malformations of the heart, and the causes are not always known. Raising awareness and funds can help ensure that every child, teenager, and adult living with childhood heart disease has a better chance of living a long and fulfilling life.

Sign up to a general or childcare first aid course to learn more about heart disease and how to respond in an emergency:

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