PCHA was founded by everyday people, joining forces for change.Together, we make a greater impact on the CHD Community. During heart month, we’re highlighting our staff members to share how PCHA has impacted their CHD journey and what they think makes us special. Today, we’re getting personal with Melanie Toth, our State Chapter Coordinator.
What do you love most about working for PCHA?
What I love most about working for PCHA is that everyone really works as a team! Even when we have different ideas, thoughts, or opinions, we always work together to do what’s best for patients, families, and the organization.
PCHA consistently grows with the needs of the heart community. Our entire board, staff, and volunteer base is run by a collective community of heart parents, heart patients, bereaved families, and medical providers with one goal, to help Conquer CHD!
How does your experience with CHD help you relate to the families PCHA serves?
My experience with CHD helps me relate to the heart families in that they know the information and support I share comes from the heart. One quote I love:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Theodore Roosevelt.
I try my very best to show heart families how much I truly care by providing knowledge and support, because I wish I had more of both when we were first diagnosed.
How much about CHD did you know before you had Luke?
Before Luke was born and diagnosed with CHD, I knew nothing about it. I didn’t know it was the most common birth defect or that it affected 1 in 100 newborns. One of the things I love most about PCHA is that I am constantly gaining knowledge from CHD families and medical providers.
You’re passionate about supporting patients and families and meeting them where they are at, why is this so important?
It’s so important to me to support all heart families and meet them where they are in their journey, because this heart journey is always changing. I feel passionately that every heart family, no matter where they come from, should have a voice and know their journey can make a difference.
As PCHA’s State Chapter Coordinator, how does the state chapter structure help support families?
Our PCHA State Chapters offer so much! In addition to the support and care package programs in our local communities, we empower the heart community with knowledge, through the resources and tools we provide. We give them a voice to advocate and share their stories, and we give them hope.
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
If I could be any animal, I’d want to be a seahorse! The ocean and water have always been my favorite place for relaxation. Seahorses are so beautiful and unique. (I really wanted to say a mermaid but apparently they aren’t real)