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'It's My Heart' support group forms here

Due to an overwhelming demand from families in Minnesota, a new non-profit organization, It's My Heart - Minnesota Chapter, has announced that support meetings will now be held in Alexandria.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Alexandria Technical and Community College, 1601 Jefferson Street, Alexandria.

The meeting is held for anyone seeking support and information on congenital heart defects (CHD).

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect and are the number-one cause of death from birth defects during the first year of life.

"Following the foundation of Its My Heart in Minnesota in April of 2010, I have been inundated with interest from people in Minnesota," said Angela Heidelberger, president of Its My Heart - Minnesota Chapter. "This new location is an extension to the work being done in other locations around the state."

"Many Minnesotan families are affected by CHD and there is a real need for help, support and awareness throughout the state. This group offers a great opportunity to find out more about many heart defects and to talk to family, friends and professionals who share their experiences. "

At least eight of every 1,000 infants born each year have a heart defect. Nearly twice as many children die from congenital heart disease in the U.S. each year as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined.

The Minnesota Chapter exists to create a supportive community that will raise awareness and inspire people to join in the fight against congenital heart defects.