In the saddest of ways, I learned about a new genetic kind of heart defect this morning. It is called Brugada Syndrome, and one of the things that it does is cause sudden cardiac death do to sudden changes in the heart rhythm. Learning about this hereditary heart disease caused me to think more about my own heart defect - an atrial septal defect. The hole in my heart is luckily now closed. It has been more than 2 years since my surgery, and almost three years since my stroke, but the emotions are still raw when I hear about people who are affected by heart or stroke-related illnesses.
Heart Disease is the nation's #1 leading cause of death and stroke is #3. This is so frustrating because by making small changes in one's life, these numbers can decrease. The American Heart Association just started a National Campaign to literally change and save lives: the Go Red for Women: Better U Campaign.
There are so many ways that you can make a difference for yourself and for the lives of others but for today, for right now, I am going to focus on wearing RED. When I see people wearing red, I know that they are taking a stand against heart disease, heart-related problems, and stroke. However, never has it meant so much to me as it did on Friday, 5 June 2009. You see, my boyfriend, who literally saved my life on July 21, 2006 when I had my stroke, graduated with his PhD from MIT this past Friday. MIT students have a tradition of decorating their caps with inventions - outrageous inventions. However, when I saw Hector walking in his gown, hood, and cap, he did not have any kind of invention on his cap. He looked grand, handsome, and all together serious as he stood out on Killian Court. And as he caught my eye, he tipped his head...
and there it was. The Red Dress that stands for everything that means life to me following my stroke and open heart surgery.
So join me and the American Heart Association's Better U Campaign. Go Red, and live a healthier life. today.