CDH International President Walks 110.1 km To Raise Awareness and Funds To Fight Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

Dear Members , Donors, and Friends,

CDH International turned 29 years old this month. I myself turned 50 years old in October.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on all the years we have worked so hard to fight Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. All of our accomplishments, our failures, but most importantly all of thee patients and families we have served.

For years, one of the things on my “bucket list” is to do a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Europe. Just myself, a backpack, God and a long stretch of road to clear my head away from cell phones, computers, meetings, and deadlines. I have been doing this job a very long time and I am not getting any younger. A break is needed, even if just for a week.

I decided that when I turned 50 years old, I would walk the Camino. In October 2023 for my birthday.

But I won a scholarship to an important event for October.

I rescheduled for April 2024.

Well, the CDH Study Group conference announced it was being held in April of 2024.

So the new plan is to walk a portion of the Camino. 110 kms of the Camino Ingles of the Camino de Santiago. This is the easiest and shortest Camino at just 68.4 miles. It’s not a lot of distance for some people, but for me, it is.

As I am older now, have had zero time to train for anything, and I struggle with Long Covid…. this is probably the safest and smartest option for me.

Since it is April, CDH Awareness Month, I am turning my personal pilgrimage into a fundraiser and am inviting you along by making our 2024 CDH Race for Research a virtual race with me.

While I do plan some much needed quiet time (!!!) to myself, I will do live video updates daily on the walk and I will share videos of the walk itself so that you can truly “travel” with me and help save the lives of these precious children.

You can support my walk and pledge to donate per km at

Join Me On the Camino:

1. Sign up at to participate in the virtual race.

2. Sign up at to start your fundraiser for kilometer pledges.

3. Invite your family and friends to support or participate!

I hope to “see” you on the Camino in April!

Very Sincerely,

Dawn Ireland, President & Founder

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