Heart Surgeon in Twitter Marathon, Raises Awareness About Congenital Heart Defects

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In an innovative use of social networking site Twitter, Indian heart surgeon Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian is raising awareness and funds for children born with congenital heart defects -- by doing a 24 hour non-stop day-and-night Tweet-a-thon on September 12th, 2008.

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On September 12th, Indian heart surgeon Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian is conducting a 24 hour "Heart Kids Tweet-a-thon" to raise awareness and funds for children born with congenital heart defects.

In this innovative use of Twitter, the doctor will post updates every half hour round the clock, non-stop, day-and-night. It is an effort intended to make more people aware of the deadly impact of congenital heart disease.

"Heart surgery in India costs as little as $3,000 -- but many families can't afford even this," said Dr.Mani.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) affect 7 in every 1,000 children born. There are an estimated 42 million people worldwide with CHD, one half of them being children. Most will require expensive treatment, including surgery, to live.

"More babies are born with congenital heart defects than with Spina Bifida, Down's syndrome and hearing loss," says the heart surgeon, who turned to the Internet for raising funds to support his critical mission.

The blogging marathon for CHD awareness has been an annual event since 2003 and has helped raise over $120,000 for the Dr.Mani Children Heart Foundation and already sponsored 26 heart surgeries for Indian children from under-privileged families.

Friends, family, fellow bloggers, and often total strangers make pledges to sponsor the surgeon-blogger as he 'tweets' all day long, just as they might sponsor someone in a walk-a-thon.

Twitter is a popular social network with over 1 million users, offering a micro-blogging solution that connects users around the world who 'tweet' short updates in under 140 characters, creating a new culture of instant, short, web-based messaging.

Participate in the event on September 12th, 2008 by visiting http://CHDinfo.com/tweetathon.htm

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