In May 1992 our founder, Danielle Kessner, gave birth to her daughter, Alyssa, who was born with undiagnosed Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH).
Danielle had never heard of CDH prior to Alyssa’s diagnosis, nor did she know of anyone who had been affected by the condition. When her precious daughter passed away the day after she was born, Danielle found herself in a very lonely place.
It took seven years, and the advent of the internet, for Danielle to discover other families who had been affected by this life-threatening condition. Danielle was determined to ensure other families in Australia were not alone in their CDH journey, and so she formed CDH Australia in 1999.
As well as personally supporting and connecting families, Danielle began facilitating annual forums in 2001, bringing families and medical professionals together to provide peer support and to share knowledge. Danielle worked tirelessly and passionately as the President of CDH Australia for over 13 years. Her relentless work saw CDH Australia grow a strong, connected community of families and friends affected by CDH, including CDH survivors, families raising CDH children, bereaved families and medical professionals.
In 2013 Danielle was awarded with CDH Australia’s first Honorary Life Membership. Today, we continue to strive for Danielle’s vision that no family faces CDH alone.