Heart disease is not a statistic. It's a disease that affects women in every community in the United States—and may affect you. It can alter or damage your life, or even take it away.
These "stories from the heart" tell how heart disease has changed the lives and outlooks of women like you. They explain why you should take steps now to protect your heart.
Jennifer didn’t realize the signs of her heart under distress until she was in a hospital bed recovering from a heart attack at the age of 36. A Washington, DC crime reporter, her life revolved around the traumas, disasters, and heartache that plagued her community. Jennifer’s heart attack reset her priorities. She now takes time to manage stress and nourish herself with healthy food. Jennifer urges all women to know their risk for heart disease and take action to lower it.
When Yaskary was 15, her mother died in the hospital 2 days after a massive heart attack. Her aunt and father later died of heart disease, and her sister survived a heart attack. Yaskary realized her life would be no different unless she took action. At 49, Yaskary noticed slight pressure around her left shoulder, and hours later, she underwent a quintuple bypass. Yaskary knows her life was spared because she understood the risk she inherited. For her, the scar on her chest serves as a symbol of life.
Eileen was a two-pack-a-day smoker for 28 years. When she suffered a heart attack, the surgeon opened her chest and found a 98 percent blockage, and her arteries disintegrated. Eileen hasn’t touched a cigarette since that day. She made a commitment for the sake of her son, her two grandsons, and the many lives that have depended on her as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. At the firehouse, Eileen educates her colleagues about women’s risk for heart disease and the signs of heart attack that are distinct to them.
Gloria inherited a love of dance from her father, and at 61, she hasn’t relinquished her passion. Although her father passed away from a stroke after years of battling high blood pressure and diabetes, dance is what keeps Gloria’s heart strong. Known in her community for her health and positive spirit, Gloria teaches Nicaraguan folk dancing at her church and helps care for her two beloved grandchildren. Every morning begins with stretching and meditation as she prepares for a new day.
Last Updated: August 26, 2014