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Hearts and Tarts

Lily has been working with the American Heart Association to educate individuals on the signs and symptoms of stroke since her personal experience in 2006.  An avid member of the fitness industry who still teaches four classes a week, Lily had just finished instructing a step aerobics class when she suffered from a stroke.  After four days in the hospital, doctors discovered a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect, an ASD, an atrial septal defect.  As she considered her options and made the difficult decision to undergo open-heart surgery to have the hole closed, Lily realized the importance of education and research around stroke awareness.  Following a full recovery, she contacted the AHA and has been a dedicated advocate ever since, including a recent appearance on Capitol Hill to speak to members of Congress about funding, education and research.

Health and fitness have always been a large part of Lily’s life, and her work in this industry included managing health clubs and working in the Bahamas and Mexico for Club Med before she entered into academic administration as the Assistant Director of the Harvard Business School’s Global Initiative.  For the past 7½ years, Lily has worked at MIT where she served as an advisor for the Chair of the Faculty in the President’s Office prior to her current role as the Manager for External Affairs at the Harvard – MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

In her free time, Lily runs two blogs.  The Queen of Hearts, focusing on health and fitness, is a light-hearted, but inspirational space about life and love.  The Queen of Tarts, centering around her passion for food, shares recipes, stories and tales from a culinary queen.  With a Master’s in Intercultural Relations and fluency in three languages, Lily is also an ardent traveler and photographer, and currently lives in Boston’s South End.

When she’s not working, teaching or writing, Lily can be found baking in the South End, exploring new cultures, and most importantly, using her voice as a resource to help others suffering from stroke or heart disease have rich lives full of laughter.


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Lily!! It's me, Kelley from Healthworks!! I thought of you tonight when I was making Julia's bed and found the pink and white striped Teddy Bear that you gave her when she was born (yes, she's a freshman in high school). A couple of weeks ago, I found a picture of you holding Chloe (7th grade) when you and I went for coffee with them one morning. I can't believe we lost touch, you were such fun at HW. I'm still there, can you believe it?? Sounds like youve had quite a ride, doesn't surprise me a bit:). Find me on Facebook (Kelley Smith Topper). I have no idea how you have time to blog, but I hope you read your comments. I would love catch up with you, I'm still in Brookline. Xoxo Kelley

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