First in the Community
Go Red for Women
Did you know 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke? But we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. First National Bank is proud to support the American Heart Association to save lives and raise awareness of this serious issue. Through the launch of Go Red For Women, funds raised support educational programs to increase women's awareness about their risk for heart disease and stroke as well as critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health. These programs and research help millions of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends make a change. Take a moment to view some incredible stories on our Banking on a Change Gallery from women in our community who have made healthy lifestyle changes. Resources available at goredforwomen.org
Discovering our family history saved our lives. Years ago we did not realize that there was heart disease in our family until tragic loss occurred. We had a family member die from a sudden cardiac arrest while playing basketball with his son, and another family member suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while playing golf, but thankfully survived. A genetic defect was discovered in our family called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, and our entire family was tested for this gene. We both tested positive for the gene and have internal cardiac defibrillators. We are able to lead full and healthy lives today because of the medical advances that allowed us to know our family history before it was too late.
Years ago, I fell in the lobby at work during the lunch hour and couldn’t pick myself back up. My colleagues got a wheel chair, but I was too wide to fit in it. When taken to the hospital for further review, I exceeded the weight limit for the MRI machine. That day I made a decision to make a change. I no longer wanted to live in fear and feel hopeless, but wanted to have my life back. I quit smoking, lost nearly 300 pounds, took control of my blood pressure and now lead a healthy life full of hope and adventure.
I’m a passionate Go Red For Women® volunteer because I want to raise awareness that heart disease kills 1 in 3 women. I’ve lost many friends to heart disease because they didn’t recognize the signs of a heart attack. I urge all women to take charge of their heart health. Women are business and home owners, community leaders, wives, daughters and friends who lead busy lives. But before we can take care of our careers and our families, we have to take care of ourselves.
My husband awoke one morning to find me not breathing. Although I was a healthy runner, I had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. My husband immediately called 911 and began performing CPR, which he learned over 20 years ago in high school. Those lifesaving compressions kept me alive until paramedics arrived. Most cardiac arrests occur in the home, so I want everyone to know CPR so that they can save the life of a loved one and are able to watch their own families change and grow.
When I lost my mother to heart disease at age 14, doctors said it wasn’t genetic. I had heart disease symptoms in my early twenties, but attributed them to working long hours and being a new mother. Ten years later, I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, years later doctors discovered a gene mutation. Because of this discovery, my family was tested and my sister was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy receiving a heart transplant six months later. I had my transplant in 2012. Asking questions and being my own advocate led to the discovery of my family’s disease. I’ve saved my life, the life of my sister and the lives of future generations.
I am a wife, mother, avid runner, fitness instructor and health guru. I woke up one morning feeling awful, it was hard to breathe and move. My husband rushed me to the hospital where I went into cardiac arrest, coded for 20 minutes and was brought back to life by CPR. In the next week I suffered multiple strokes, had 5% heart life and was in a coma. During this time, I was hooked up to ECKMO, which kept me alive. Because of the lifesaving research and medical advancements made by the American Heart Association I am alive today to continue to be a wife, mother, avid runner, fitness instructor and so much more!
I was walking from my desk to my car when I felt pressure in my chest and was short of breath. I had to rest in my car before driving home, and this wasn’t the first time. I went to my doctor for a regular checkup, and at the end mentioned my recent experiences. I saw a cardiologist and days later had triple bypass surgery on my blocked arteries. I encourage women to schedule your doctor appointments and speak up when you feel something isn’t right. Enjoy each moment to the fullest and keep your heart healthy so you have more memories to make and moments to enjoy.
I was a healthy and active working mom loving life. I was a caregiver, putting everyone else’s wants and needs above my own. I began to have problems breathing, felt more tired than normal and had swelling, but I initially dismissed these symptoms. When they worsened, I finally listened to my body and saw my doctor. After extensive testing, I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. If I hadn’t gone to the doctor that day, I could have been dead in two weeks. Today, I raise my voice, urging all busy women to recognize what’s going on with your body and to be proactive with your health. We only have one heart.