CDH International Transitions to Research Organization

Letter from our President and Founder:

Dear Members and Supporters,

As the world has changed in the past few years, so has volunteerism and philanthropy, as well as the shift from support groups to social media. In the 28 years since CDH International started on my kitchen table as a family support group, we have seen and adjusted to many changes. We have watched children grow up, said too many goodbyes, welcomed many incredible volunteers and staff, formed productive global partnerships, and celebrated each accomplishment as the community went from 2 families to 10,000’s families.

The charity has grown past our wildest expectations, and as we navigate this new post-pandemic world, we have to adjust for growth so that we can continue to serve children and families affected by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia to the best of our abilities.

Where CDH International was once the only charity providing help to families, there are now many CDH charities offering support groups, Facebook groups, care packages, financial grants, and scholarships. As our Executive Board of Directors took a look at the services provided across the community, we realized that there is such a profound waste of resources in redundant, and often competing, services and still such a huge gap in research funding and patient advocacy in the research world. The pandemic and economy have hit all charities and made this even more apparent tin the past few years as volunteers burned out and donations have been halved. The world has changed, and so many charities.

While we are incredibly proud of the projects and services that we have provided for years to 1000’s families, the inspiration and assistance we have given to many other charities and groups, and the right to call CDH International “the world’s oldest, largest and leading Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia charity,” we have a responsibility to be good stewards and always to do what is best for these children. It is our sincere devotion to this responsibility that has led us to decide to step aside from Support and let other charities continue their work while we shift our focus to save resources, foster collaborations, and hopefully stop Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia quicker, saving more lives.

As of April, 2023 CDH International will focus on what we do now do best – Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia research. We will continue to raise awareness, share patient stories and our team will always personally be there for families. But the majority of our time and efforts as an organization will go towards where efforts are most needed – saving the lives of these children – and we will continue to engage with families as we work together to make that happen.


Dawn Ireland, President & Founder

On behalf of the Executive Board of Directors of CDH International

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