Welcome! The Heart Dialogues is a newsletter featuring candid conversations and writing for people born with heart conditions.

Every other Sunday, I bring you an interview with someone from the congenital heart disease community, plus occasional essays, links, recommendations and other good stuff.

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Why Does This Exist?

Heart defects are the most common birth defect in the U.S., affecting 1 in 100 babies. Medical advances have allowed more people to survive into adulthood and, today, more adults than children live with congenital heart disease—a combined 2.5 million-plus in the U.S. alone.

At the same time, researchers are only beginning to understand the complications of growing older with a heart defect. Lifelong medical care is necessary but often difficult to access. And many people with CHD grow up without ever meeting anyone like them.

While a few groups are doing critical work to raise awareness, conduct research and increase access to care, not many places exist for people with CHD to share their experiences, ask questions and feel… less weird? The Heart Dialogues is one of those places.

Who’s Behind This?

My name is Leigh Kamping-Carder. I was born with tricuspid atresia. I had several heart surgeries as a child, including a Fontan operation when I was almost 4 years old. Other than the zipper scar down my chest, you’d likely never know I have a chronic illness. But I think about my heart every single day.

I’m also a professional journalist, currently heading up the newsletters team at one of the top newspapers in the U.S. Before this job, I was a reporter, editor and digital journalist for almost a decade and a half, covering everything from luxury homes to innovation to arts and culture.

Get in Touch.

Questions? Feedback? Want to be featured in The Heart Dialogues? Drop me a note at theheartdialogues@substack.com, or reply to any newsletter or post.

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