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Susan Strong , of Colorado Springs, Colorado, underwent TAVR for the severe aortic stenosis caused by radiation therapy to treat her Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was 17. She serves as a Heart Valve Ambassador for the American Heart Association and President of Heart Valve Voice US . She writes in advance of National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day .   ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 21, 2017 10:57 AM CST
Kimberly Goodloe   is a Heart Valve Ambassador for the American Heart Association. She had her aortic valve replaced at age 42 and now is passionate about educating others.   Learn more about her work on her website .  She writes as we approach National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on February 22 .   I look forward to celebrating Heart Valve Awareness ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 20, 2017 8:13 AM CST
James ignored classic heart failure symptoms, but once faced with a frightening prognosis, he made major changes to turn his health around. Today he volunteers as an ambassador for our Rise Above Heart Failure program.   While having congestive heart failure - with no one to turn to who could relate to what I was feeling - I felt like the lonely man on an ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 15, 2017 7:33 AM CST
Kelly DiMaggio is 28 years old with a complex single ventricle physiology consisting of mitral atresia, d-TGA with pulmonary stenosis and a hypoplastic left ventricle. Kelly lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, Michael. She graduated from Dickinson College in 2011 and is now employed full time as a Registered Client Service ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 14, 2017 3:17 PM CST
Melissa writes regular for the Support Network blog as well as her own personal blog. She says, “That’s how this crazy blog got started. Coronary, chest pain, Myocardial infarction are several words to describe my condition. Whatever words you use to describe it, I still can’t believe that at the age of 40 I’m in the heart attack club. After months of ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 14, 2017 2:36 PM CST
Six years after battling cancer, Aimee Rodriguez-Zepeda learned in 2014 that she had congestive heart failure and an enlarged heart that was working at a quarter of its capacity. Today, she is an Ambassador for the American Heart Association’s Rise Above Heart Failure initiative and she writes in honor of HF Awareness Week, February 12-18.   Normally ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 14, 2017 12:30 PM CST
 This week, as heart health advocates and experts around the country kickoff National Heart Failure Awareness Week, I am reminded of how important it is to bring attention to the condition that affects 6.5 million Americans, including my Mom. Recognizing the symptoms of heart failure, a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood around the ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 13, 2017 1:03 PM CST
Emily Nichols’s son, Dylan, was born with a heart defect. She now works for the American Heart Association and writes in honor of CHD Week , February 7-14. “Your son has a very serious congenital heart defect and will need surgery very soon.”  Those are not words you want to hear when your baby is just five hours old.  But, that’s what happened to us and led us ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 7, 2017 8:30 AM CST
Elizabeth Beard has been both a caregiver of family members with cardiovascular disease, and is a survivor of PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease). She writes in honor of National Wear Red Day.   When most people hear about National Wear Red Day , they think of heart disease and stroke.   For women like me however, we feel like there is a big party being thrown, ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 3, 2017 9:53 AM CST
  Chicarra Jones is 35 years old and a mother of two - Morghan and Paul. She is originally from Dayton, Ohio but relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2007 after completing her bachelor’s degree from Central State University. She moved to Columbia, SC in 2012 after meeting her Husband, and has been working with AHA since 2015 as a volunteer. She is a ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Feb 1, 2017 7:58 AM CST
Jeff Breece is a heart attack survivor turned runner who blogs at  JeffBreece.com . He is also a volunteer moderator on the Support Network and champion of   My Research Legacy , a project of the American Heart Association designed to gather health data (stripped of personal information) from volunteers to help identify patterns in heart disease. ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Jan 30, 2017 8:25 AM CST
AHA Heart Valve Ambassador Anthony  is an American Heart Association Heart Valve Ambassador who also blogs at  Robovalve .  Since last summer, I have been volunteering for the American Heart Association as a Heart Valve Ambassador, alongside 8 other valve patients. We come in different shapes, sizes, ages, genders, and from all over the country. The ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Jan 19, 2017 11:58 AM CST
Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. is a long-time American Heart Association volunteer. He and his wife, Julia L. Mayer, Psy.D., are Pennsylvania-based psychologists and the co-authors of AARP Meditations for Caregivers—Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family (Da Capo, 2016).               Louise, a petite 72-year-old woman ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Jan 9, 2017 9:02 AM CST
“ JerzeyCate ” is a volunteer moderator here on the Support Network who shares her experiences and perspective to help others. I never considered myself to be particularly brave.In fact, most of my life I suffered from anxiety and a lack of confidence.But I realized early on, that if I wanted to live life to the fullest I would have to put on a brave face and ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Jan 3, 2017 8:08 AM CST
Allison Peet is the owner of From Within Wellness, LLC. She has a corporate background and lives in Des Moines with her husband and their two young children.  She is a qualified MBSR™ instructor ( Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction ) with over 200 hours of formal, in-person MBSR™ training through the UMass Medical School Center for Mindfulness, a ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Dec 23, 2016 8:30 AM CST
Keith Isbell, 47, is the Chief Operating Officer for a Panera Bread franchise in Houston, where he owns and operates 28 restaurants. Leading a very active life, things came to a stop in December of 2015 when he was diagnosed with a 4.7 cm aneurysm in the ascending aorta, also known as the widow maker. This would be discovered with no significant symptoms ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Dec 20, 2016 8:30 AM CST
Julie Rickman is a mother, wife, daughter, sister and heart attack survivor!   She actually thought she was allergic to her Christmas tree. It took Julie 4 years to tell her closest friends she had a heart attack because she was embarrassed. Julie has gone from keeping her story private to being an American Heart Association's Go Red For Women National ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Dec 19, 2016 8:08 AM CST
Jeff Breece is a heart attack survivor turned runner who blogs at  JeffBreece.com . He is also a volunteer moderator on the Support Network and champion of My Research Legacy , a project of the American Heart Association designed to gather health data (stripped of personal information) from volunteers to help identify patterns in heart disease. ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Dec 15, 2016 7:37 AM CST
We asked members of the Support Network to share some of the best gifts they received on their heart or stroke journey. The answers we got back were a great source of inspiration – maybe they will help you find the perfect gift for the survivor on your list this holiday season! JeffBreece says: A road ID/medical bracelet band Massage gift certificate ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Dec 13, 2016 1:41 PM CST
 By Dr. Marla Mendelson, Northwestern Medical Chicago   As a cardiologist, I work with many women living with valve disease who want to become pregnant and grow their family, but who worry about how their valve disease may affect or even prohibit that. One of my patients, Christine Rekash, an American Heart Association Heart Valve Ambassador, ... more...
Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Support Network Blog Dec 13, 2016 8:32 AM CST