The Mighty Logo

These Images of Hearts Found in Nature Are Helping People With Down Syndrome

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

One mother is giving back and showing how love is all around us with her new book “The Heart Project: Messages of Love.”

Andrea Chervenak, from Irondequoit, New York, didn’t know anyone with Down syndrome when her son, now 8, was diagnosed with the condition, Time Warner Cable News reported. However, she soon found comfort and support in the Flower City Down Syndrome Network, a group dedicated to providing education and support to families of children with Down syndrome.

“[I] was able to speak with a couple of mothers at the time who had older children who said, ‘you know what you’re going to be all right,’” Chervenak told TWC.

Chervenak wanted to find a way to pay back the organization for all the love and support it had given her during a confusing time, so she came up with the idea for “The Heart Project.”

Image of a heart made out of ice

The Heart Project: Messages of Love” is a coffee table-style book that aims to show the reader how love surrounds us everywhere. It features a collection of diverse heart images found in nature and on various structures, contributed from 87 people all over the world. The photos are taken from everyday life by everyday people, and all funds from the book will go to the Flower City Down Syndrome Network.

“The whole idea behind the project was to instill the message that messages of love are really everywhere if you’re open to seeing it,” Chervenak told ABC News.

For Chervenak, the heart is more than just a symbol of love. It represents the large percentage of children with Down syndrome who are born with a heart defect. Approximately half of all children born with Down syndrome have a heart defect, according to National Down Syndrome Society. Chervenak’s son Alex was also born with one, however his was minor and did not require surgery.

The book also contains some images of hearts dedicated to those who have lost their loved ones with Down syndrome.

Get more on the story from the video below: 


“The Heart Project” can be purchased on here.

Originally published: January 11, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home