Go Red For Women Luncheon PURSEsonality Auction Preview

 

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, but only 17 percent of women consider heart disease or stroke to be the greatest health problem facing Americans today. The Westchester-Fairfield American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon aims to shine a light on women’s heart disease by sharing local survivor stories, and tips for prevention. Hundreds of women dressed in red are expected to attend.

The event is set for Friday, June 1st from 9:00AM to 2:00PM, at the Hilton Westchester in Rye. Tickets are available online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org/.

Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Heart disease in women can occur in the young and old, in seemingly healthy women as well as those with risk factors. Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.

Grace & Terri Ferri, Co-Chairs, Go Red For Women Luncheon

The Go Red For Women Luncheon aims to raise awareness and funds to fight women’s number one killer—heart disease. There will be a Networking Power Hour, and “PURSEonality” themed silent auction featuring handbags with contents personally selected by local women business and community leaders. Local survivors will be celebrated, and the day will conclude with a keynote by Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College.

Grace Ferri, Vice President, Development & Marketing, United Hebrew of New Rochelle Willow Towers Assisted Living, and her sister, Terri Ferri, Branch Manager | Executive Director Morgan Stanley Wealth Manage ment are serving as event co-chairs, and will discuss the important of finding a partner in health. They are donating a purse, as is Dr. Belinda Miles (below) and many others!

Preview the purses here!

 

Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President Westchester Community College

More than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention is hindered by the fact that many women don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women. For 15 years, the Go Red For Women movement has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life. Women can access free resources at www.goredforwomen.org.

There will be two educational sessions in the morning which are free and open to the public. Learning Session 1, “Tips and Tricks for the Busy Woman to Improve Heart Healthy ” will be presented by Greenwich Hospital and moderated by Sasanka Jayasuriya, MD, FACC.  Learning Session #2 is entitled “Heart Health: Fact vs. Fiction,” presented by White Plains Hospital/Scarsdale Medical Group’s Jeannette Yuen, MD, FACP, FACC, and Elizabeth DeRobertis, MS, RD, CDN, CDE.

 

Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy’s and CVS. Greenwich Hospital is the Signature Sponsor. Local sponsors include White Plains Hospital; Morgan Stanley; United Hebrew of New Rochelle, Willow Towers Assisted Living; Fujifilm; Key Bank; The Westchester Bank; NewYork Presbyterian; Tompkins Mahopac Bank; and Dr. Icilma Fergus. Media sponsors include 100.7 WHUD, Westchester Magazine, Buzz Creators, WAG Magazine, Westchester & Fairfield Business Journals, Professional Women of Westchester, and Examiner Media.

An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases, and 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. The good news is 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Small, incremental changes to lifestyle can go a long way in preventing these leading killers. Quitting smoking, exercising at least 30 minutes per day, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating more fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease and stroke. More information is available at GoRedForWomen.org and at this year’s Go Red For Women luncheon.

#GoRed914

Rita Mabli, President & CEO United Hebrew of New Rochelle

Westchester Community College President Dr. Belinda S. Miles to Keynote Go Red For Women Luncheon

The American Heart Association announced Dr. Belinda S. Miles as the keynote speaker for the Westchester-Fairfield Go Red For Women Luncheon set for Friday, June 1st at the Hilton Westchester. The event will raise awareness and funds for the Go Red For Women campaign to fight women’s number one killer—heart disease. This is the 15th Anniversary of the Go Red For Women campaign nationally. Tickets are on sale now at westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org.

As president of Westchester Community College, Dr. Belinda S. Miles leads the largest college in Westchester County, New York, serving more than 26,000 students annually. Prior to joining Westchester Community College, Dr. Miles served as provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College.

She is a board member at the Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board, and the Westchester Medical Center Healthcare Transformation Workforce Committee. Dr. Miles also serves on the American Association of Community College’s President’s Academy Executive Committee (PAEC), the American Association of Colleges and University President’s Trust, the National Junior College Athletic Association Presidential Advisory Committee, the Board and faculty at the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), and faculty at the Lakin Institute for Community College Leadership.

Dr. Miles provides community service as a member of The Links, Incorporated, Westchester County (NY) Chapter, is a lifetime member of the National Council of Negro Women Cuyahoga (OH) Section, and is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of New York.

Originally from Queens, New York, Dr. Miles attended public schools including York College City University of New York (CUNY), earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She attained a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Organization and Leadership Development from Columbia University Teachers College.

“We are so grateful to welcome Dr. Miles as keynote of the Go Red For Women Luncheon. Her insight as a passionate, community leader will be invaluable to our audience,” said Terri Ferri, Branch Manager of the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Purchase Headquarters Office, Co-Chair of the Go Red Luncheon.

“Dedicated, dynamic women leaders like Dr. Miles are invaluable to our mission to change women’s lives,” said Go Red Co-Chair Grace Ferri, Vice President of Development & Marketing for United Hebrew of New Rochelle.

The Go Red For Women Luncheon aims to raise awareness for women’s number one killer. More than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention is hindered by the fact that many women don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women—more than all cancers combined. For 15 years, the Go Red For Women movement has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life. Women can access free resources at www.goredforwomen.org.

Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy’s and CVS. Greenwich Hospital is the Signature Sponsor. Local sponsors include White Plains Hospital; Morgan Stanley; United Hebrew of New Rochelle, Willow Towers Assisted Living; Fujifilm; Key Bank; The Westchester Bank; NewYork Presbyterian; Tompkins Mahopac Bank; and Dr. Icilma Fergus. Media sponsors include 100.7 WHUD, Westchester Magazine, Buzz Creators, WAG Magazine, Westchester & Fairfield Business Journals, Professional Women of Westchester, and Examiner Media.

#GoRed914

 

Hundreds of Putnam Residents Walk at Heart Walk

 

More than 800 Putnam residents walked at the Putnam Heart Walk at Brewster High School on Sunday, April 22nd. The funds they raised will support heart disease and stroke research, along with the awareness and advocacy programs of the American Heart Association (AHA). Donations are still being accepted online at www.putnamheartwalk.org. Joseph Roberto, president and chief executive officer of PCSB Bank welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their support of the AHA’s lifesaving mission in the Putnam community.  

Kids and adults alike joined in the “Move More” activities at the Heart Walk geared toward getting people active while having fun. An active lifestyle can help heart disease and stroke. The AHA recommends 30 minutes of physical activity daily for adults, and 60 minutes for children.

Diana Mauro from Mahopac was honored as the 2018 Inspirational Honoree for the Putnam Heart Walk. Mauro was born with a congenital heart defect survivor but was only recently diagnosed. Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart which are present at birth.

“I hope my story will raise awareness for congenital defects in both children and adults, encourage people to seek medical attention when necessary, and give strength and hope to anyone going through a difficult time,” she said.

At the end of 2016, Mauro began feeling light headed, faint and had low blood pressure. At first, she thought she was dehydrated, but her symptoms persisted. She went to her primary care physician who detected a heart murmur. Further testing by a cardiologist showed she had a rare congenital heart defect known as Scimitar Syndrome, or Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return. Three veins from her right lung were connected to the wrong side of the heart. Her body had been compensating for this defect her whole life.

On February 2, 2017, she had open heart surgery to relocate the veins so that the oxygenated blood could circulate correctly. The surgery was successful, requiring no further surgeries.

“I am very grateful and blessed to say that I am a congenital heart defect survivor. I am now left with a 6.5” scar on my chest to remind me of how strong I am, what I have overcome and what is truly important in life,” she said, adding, “To those families going through similar situations, I offer you words that helped me this past year: be strong, be brave, be fearless!”

Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. The AHA’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, a law was passed NYS to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers, and medical professionals in infant and child CPR. www.heart.org/CPR.

Research and advanced can save many lives, but more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like walking 30 minutes daily and eating a healthier diet including more fruits and vegetables. The Heart Walk is part of the AHA’s Healthy For Good movement designed to help Americans create lasting change in their health and life, one small step at a time. Learn more at healthyforgood.heart.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by PCSB Bank, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, Putnam Hospital Center, PracticeMax, Lia Honda of Brewster, Stop and Shop, Marshall & Sterling, Park Ford, Unilock, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, VolzAuto, NewYork-Presbyterian and Spirelli Electric, and Always an Angel. Media sponsors are Examiner Media, Mahopac News, Hudson Valley Magazine, and WHUD Radio.

Learn more about congenital heart defects at www.heart.org/CHD. Parents of children with CHD may find support online at the AHA’s Support Network at http://supportnetwork.heart.org/congenital-heart-disease.

#PutnamHeartWalk

By |April 23rd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Heart Advocacy Update from Albany

Update from Caitlin O’Brien, NYS American Heart Association Government Relations Director

With New York State finalizing the State budget this past weekend, the Heart Association scored some great public health wins. With the Governor threatening to cut millions of dollars in funding to crucial public health programs, AHA staff and advocates worked hard to make sure this didn’t come to fruition. After months of email, calls, and meetings with elected officials, our hard work paid off and the cuts were rejected in the final budget. This means programs like the Hypertension Program, aimed at reducing rates of heart disease and stroke, will continue to get $692,000 in critical funding. Additionally, the Obesity/Diabetes Prevention Program received $5.9 million, which will help people in communities across the State live healthier lives. Lastly, our elected officials held steady funding aimed at tobacco cessation in the Tobacco Control Program.

As we look toward the rest of the legislative session, we have plenty of policy priorities to support. Here is what we will be focusing on:

  • Raising the minimum legal sales age of tobacco products to 21 through the passage of Tobacco 21.
  • Prohibiting flavored tobacco products which the tobacco industry targets to youth
  • Instituting healthy vending machines throughout state owned properties
  • Offering healthier, non-sugary beverages in children’s meals at restaurants

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Join us on May 8 for Lobby Day at the New York State Capitol to push for the passage of Tobacco 21. Email me at Obrien@heart.org to learn more or sign up.
  • Join You’re the Cure online at www.yourethecure.org 
  • Take action when you get an email from You’re the Cure! With one click, you can let your legislator know that you support the American Heart Association’s initiatives.
By |April 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Dutchess Residents Walk for Heart

Dozens of teams and hundreds of individuals walked for their hearts and to raise funds at the American Heart Association (AHA) at the annual Dutchess Heart Walk on Saturday, March 24th at Marist College. The Heart Walk event is the American Heart Association’s biggest annual fund raiser and awareness event locally, and it promotes healthier lifestyles as a way to prevent the number one and five killers—heart disease and stroke. Online donations are being accepted at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org

According to the AHA, walking briskly daily and at events like the Heart Walk, can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week for heart health. Kids need 60 minutes daily.

Pleasant Valley resident, Alexandra Scimeca was honored as the 2018 Heart Walk Honoree to help raise awareness and funds to fight heart disease, including congenital heart defects like the one she was born with. She had heart surgery the day before her 4th birthday. Thanks to early detection, Alexandra was able to go on with her life. She is now a happy, healthy 13-year old.

“I am thankful for my doctors and what they have given me the chance to have a long, happy and healthy life,” she said. Her Heart Walk team is called “Alex’s Angels.”

While genetics and family history are hard at escape for many, the majority of heart disease is preventable with lifestyle changes. The Heart Walk is part of the AHA’s Healthy For Good movement designed to help Americans create lasting change in their health and life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. Healthy For Good encourages healthier eating, including colorful fruits and vegetables, exercising 30 minutes daily, and focusing on whole body wellness including reducing stress and getting enough sleep. Learn more at healthyforgood.heart.org

Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. The AHA’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, a 2013 law was passed in New York State to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. AHA programs in schools help children to create healthy habits while they’re young. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers, and medical professionals in infant and child CPR. www.heart.org/CPR.

For more information on supporting the American Heart Association’s mission, contact Danielle Schuka, Event Director, at the American Heart Association at (845) 867-5379 or by email Danielle.Schuka@heart.org.

The Heart Walk Presenting Sponsors are Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, The Heart Center, Laerdal, and the David Ping Group. Media sponsors include Townsquare Media, Now 97.7, Southern Dutchess News and Hudson Valley Magazine. #HVheartwalk

 

American Heart Lifestyle Change Award Presented

 

The American Heart Association (AHA) and Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union in Kingston presented the Lifestyle Change Award on Valentine’s Day to Deborah Garriga Stitt, from Rosendale. The AHA says that 80% of heart disease can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, like the ones Deborah Stitt made.

Heart diseases and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the nation, but more than 80% of it is preventable. The American Heart Association established the Lifestyle Change Award to recognize individuals who have made significant and positive changes to improve their quality of life and overall health.

This award is presented annually to a deserving individual whether they have lost weight, started to eat better, improve their cholesterol through exercise and diet, or combination of these things and more, the recipient is chosen to inspire others to also improve their health.

“We hope that Deborah inspires others to make healthy lifestyle changes like she did, one step at a time,” said Danielle Schuka, AHA Regional Director, “She realized her health needed improving and took small but significant steps to improve her health. The results of her steadfast commitment are evident, and inspiring!”

Stitt said she decided privately to make lifestyle changes. She did what we all know we are supposed to do: eat lean meats, fresh veggies, get regular sleep, and exercise regularly. She not only lost 80 pounds in the process, but has become strong, fit and healthy.

 How did she do it? Stitt changed her eating habits completely. She cut out processed food and started eating lean meats and vegetables. When she started taking Zumba classes, progress was slow at first. Adding hiking several miles on the weekends with her husband gave her more stamina and strength. From there she increased her time at the gym, taking step classes, and high intensity training classes. She is now a regular at Kingston Athletics, challenging herself in Cross Fit.

“We were honored to present this award to Deborah and learn more about her story. She is doing exactly what we all need to do to make a diff erence in our health—making small but lasting changes for health, ourselves and our families,” said Michelle McCourt, VP Operations at Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.

The American Heart Association helps people understand the link between health and risk for heart disease and stroke, and helps to empower people with the tools to become healthier. For more information, visit www.heart.org/healthyforgood. For women’s health resources to fight women’s number one killer—heart disease—visit www.goredforwomen.org

The AHA invites residents to attend the Heart Walk on March 24th at Marist College in Poughkeepsie to walk for their heart health while raising funds for AHA research and programs. Individuals and teams can register online at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Danielle.Schuka@heart.org or call 845-867-5379. Find inspiration to live a healthy life on Facebook with the hashtag #GoRedGetFit.

Have a Heart-Healthy Football Party

Family watching football game cheeringCan you keep it healthy at the tailgate party or football-watching bash? Yes!

Football season’s grand finale is here! And America’s most popular sport means enjoying many beloved traditions – including lots of fried and fatty meats washed down with calorie-laden drinks. Great fun, but not great for your heart-health! Your Big Game Party doesn’t mean you have to pack on the pounds and put your heart at risk. In fact, you can do a lot to keep your tailgating and other parties heart healthy – without giving up the fun or the flavor.

Check out these helpful tips:

The Meats

Do tailgates mean having a pile of meat sizzling on the grill? Well, if you’re eating meat, just be mindful of which ones you’re firing up. Choose lean or extra-lean beef burgers, and keep the patties to the size of a deck of cards. Or try turkey burgers or salmon burgers, which are tasty and give you the essential omega-3 fatty acids your body needs. If you crave the traditional fried wings, try replacing them with grilled chicken breast strips tossed in a small amount of your favorite sauce. Try this heart-healthy recipe for Tailgate Chili!

Picking the healthiest meat isn’t the only healthy choice you can make. Be careful about how you season it. Resist a heavy shaking of the salt shaker; instead, throw in some chopped onions or extra pepper to spice things up. Choose 100 percent whole-wheat buns or make a lettuce wrap. Or you can cut your burger in half and have just one side of the bun.

The Sides

At many football parties and stadium parking lots, there’s no shortage of chips or fries stacked high with chili, cheese and whatever else you can think of. However tempting they may be, you can fill up (and feel better later) by nibbling on vegetables throughout the game. “Load up on the veggies!” said Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., .a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a volunteer for the American Heart Association. “Have vegetables for dipping rather than chips. Serve plenty of salsa and bean-based dips rather than other high-calorie dips.”

Skewers are also a fun and flavorful way to snack. Load them up with onions and peppers, or throw some corn on the cob or zucchini on the grill.

The Drinks

Beer and full-calorie sodas are usually plentiful at football parties and games. If drinking alcohol at games, just remember to use moderation.“Try not to overindulge on alcoholic beverages,” Johnson said. “Too much beer, wine or liquor impairs judgment and can cause us to eat more.”If you do get a beer at the game, try one with the least amount of calories and carbohydrates.For those who choose to drink alcohol, the American Heart Association recommends limiting to an average of one to two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is one 12-ounce beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.)As far as soda goes, you’ll usually find no-calorie options wherever the full-sugar kind is. Water is the best choice, though, especially at games early in the season where dehydration is a concern. If you want a little more excitement then just plain water, throw in some fresh fruit to give it a refreshing taste.

Tailgating Do’s and Don’ts

  • Choose your sides in moderation. Try to make sure your plate is colorful, with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink lots of water. You may be feeling hungry, but you may actually just be dehydrated. Stay hydrated.
  • Remind yourself to only eat if you are hungry – not just for something to do at the game. It may help to keep track of what you eat.
  • Placement counts! Put your healthiest items up front so choosing the healthy foods is easier for your guests!
  • Sweet Endings: Never underestimate the power of the fruit kebob for dessert, or cut fruit with a drizzle of dark chocolate! Now, that’s a crowd pleaser!
  • Burn those calories: Do go for a halftime walk or have a heart-healthy halftime game of touch football! Include the kids for a family fun time!

Learn more:

By |January 30th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Hundreds Attend Go Red For Women Luncheon in Poughkeepsie

 

It was a sea of red at the Poughkeepsie Grandview on November 9th, as more than 350 Hudson Valley residents gathered for the American Heart Association’s 10th Anniversary Go Red For Women Luncheon. The AHA’s Go Red For Women campaign goal is to empower women with the tools and knowledge they need to fight their number one killer—heart disease. The event raised awareness but also funds for the AHA’s programs and research.

Denise George, President of the Northern Dutchess Hospital and Senior Vice President of Health Quest, served as chair of this 10th Anniversary Go Red For Women Luncheon. She welcomed the crowd, including many former event chairs, and shared Go Red’s life-saving mission.

New York City television medical journalist, Dr. Max Gomez, moderated the keynote health panel discussion with local health experts to help attendees capture ideas and the latest science information to help prevent the number one health threat, cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women—more than all cancers combined.

The local panel of health experts included cardiologist Sarah Levin, MD, FACC; nutritionist, Roufia Payman, DT, CDN; Certified Grief Therapist, Shelley Tatelbaum, M.S.; and personal trainer, Kelly Mills, CPT. The event included morning mini-breakout sessions from Dr. Padma Garvey, Dr. Jack Tighe from St. Luke’s Hospital, and Naomi Biviano from The Institute for Family Health.

The 12 participants in the BetterU Challenge, sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, were celebrated at the event. The AHA states that more than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, like those encouraged through BetterU. Participants have been blogging about their healthy lifestyle challenge experience at http://blogs.poughkeepsiejournal.com/betteru/.

Past BetterU participant, Tina Vaitkus of Pawling, shared her story of survival from a heart attack this August. She had a family history of heart disease and after feeling chest pain, neck and arm pain, and profuse sweating, she called 9-1-1.

She credits the BetterU program for awareness of symptoms and getting emergency help quickly, and AHA-funded researchers who developed the drug-eluding stent she received to open her blocked artery. Her cardiac rehabilitation has been aided by the fact that she had already an exercise regimen in her life from BetterU.

“Two weeks prior to my heart attack I had these symptoms, but like other women I chalked it up to other things. Women doubt their symptoms. Don’t die of doubt. Call 9-1-1,” she said.

Learn about women’s heart attack symptoms on Go Red For Women

The “PURSEonality,” auction featured sophisticated handbags, wallets, and other exclusive items donated from local women “celebrities.” Each handbag contained items which reflect the personal styles and passions of the donor. Q92.1 Radio’s morning show personalities, Joe Daily and Michelle Taylor served as emcees for the event.

Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and CVS, and locally by Signature Sponsors, The Heart Center, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and Northern Dutchess Hospital. Additional sponsors include Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym, the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, The Grandview, Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, and media sponsors, the Poughkeepsie Journal, Hudson Valley Magazine, and Q92.
#GoRedHV

 

By |November 10th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Form a Heart Walk Team to Fight Heart Disease

The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Westchester Heart Walk is coming Sunday, October 1st at Kensico Dam in Valhalla. Registration for individuals and teams is open online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org. Many local companies and residents are forming teams to walk in support of the AHA’s mission to save lives from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. For some teams, walking in the Heart Walk is personal.

Gina Palma of “Team Brave Heart” is walking for her 63-year old father, John Palma, who is on the heart transplant list waiting for a new heart.

“We are walking for him and to raise awareness for this rare disease,” she said, “I would give my own heart to Dad if I could.”

She’s doing the next best thing—walking to prevent heart disease while funding lifesaving research. Her father’s heart failed more than three years ago. He felt out of breath doing routine things and it took 20 minutes to recover. He thought it was asthma or pneumonia but wa eventually diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis—a rare form of heart disease where an abnormal amyloid liver protein deposits itself in the walls of the heart, making them stiff and unable to pump normally. There is no cure, but treatments can manage the symptoms. Ultimately, his heart failed.

“Blood tests showed my kidney functions were getting worse and my breathing was worsening. Heart transplant was mentioned a while ago. I went through a barrage of tests and interviews. Now I am on the list.”

“I was near retirement, then I got hit with this. This wasn’t self-inflicted. A rare disease comes out of nowhere and you have deal with it,” he said.

Though he knows the wait is long and often an emotional rollercoaster, he feels lucky because his diagnosis was swift, his treatments are extending his life, and he has support of good friends and family. He hopes by sharing his story he will help raise awareness and remind people to get annual checkups. And he wants more funding for research.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds. The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $400,000 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event. Funds raised at the Heart Walk will support research to help prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, and pediatric heart disease. The American Heart Association’s funding for research is second only to the federal government. American Heart Association-funded research has led to the discovery and development of many treatments and procedures that are now widely utilized to help save lives. They include heart bypass surgery, CPR, clot-busting drugs, stents, cardiac catheterization, and heart transplantation. Learn more at www.heart.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by White Plains Hospital, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Fujifilm, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, New York Medical College, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, The Peak, Buzz Creators, News 12 Westchester, and Westchester Magazine.

Form a team and register online to walk in the Westchester Heart Walk! www.westchesterheartwalk.org 

By |September 12th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Heart Disease Affects Children, Too–Walk for Healthy Hearts

Heart Birth Defects Are #1 Birth Defect, but Survivable

Mila Rose on her 1st Birthday!

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds. Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Congenital heart defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects. The American Heart Association invites the public to join the October 1st Heart Walk event at Kensico Dam to join the fight against heart disease, fund research, and help save lives. Registration is open online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org.

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $400,000 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event. Funds raised at the Heart Walk will support research to help prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, and pediatric heart disease.

Congenital heart defects, or CHD, affect nearly 1% of―or about 40,000―births per year in the United States. Early detection, advances in science and treatments of congenital heart defects help save lives. The Konow family of Ossining is grateful for early detection and advanced treatments for CHD. Their baby had lifesaving open heart surgery on the day of last year’s Heart Walk. They are sharing their story to raise awareness and will be honored at this year’s event.

Kailey and Ryan Konow showed up for their 20-week prenatal appointment with the anticipation and excitement of any expectant parents. The doctors confirmed they were having a girl—but that she had a rare congenital heart defect. Further tests confirmed her diagnosis: a double outlet right ventricle VSD, or ventricular septal defect (holes in the heart), and pulmonary stenosis, or narrowing of the heart artery. The doctors said she would need open heart surgery–it was just a matter of when.

Because of early detection, the neonatal intensive care unit team was ready and waiting to care for Mila Rose when she was born on August 3, 2016.

“My husband and I got to hold her for only a couple of minutes before she was whisked away to begin her tests,” said Mila Rose’s mother, Kailey, “After five days in intensive care, we took her home to get her strong for her impending surgery.”

After two months, they noticed the soft spot on her head was sunken, and took her to the pediatrician. By the time they arrived, Mila Rose’s eyes, mouth and lips were blue. Her oxygen levels were dangerously low and she was sent to the emergency room. A simple common cold caused her fragile heart to work overtime. Three days later, she was released, but within the week, the same symptoms returned, but worse.

“It was the scariest event yet. Her oxygen levels dipped and they needed to intubate her with a breathing tube and put her in a coma so her heart would stop working so hard,” she said.

Mila Rose had emergency heart surgery to have a shunt placed in her narrowed artery, but the other defect would require additional surgery in the future. Post-surgery, she was kept isolated at home to minimize the risk of illness. On January 6th, she had the surgery for her full heart repair, and went home after 15 days, her heart fully repaired.

“At first, we couldn’t believe this was happening to us. Why did they have to find something? Now we are so grateful for the technology and research that allowed the early detection. We’re so grateful for the doctors who continually focused in on her diagnosis and were always ready for her. She will be closely monitored for her cardiology team for the rest of her life, but her future is bright and our hearts are full,” said Konow.

CHD is the most common heart birth defect but it is survivable—the AHA journal Circulation that estimates about 1 million children and 1.4 million adults in the United States were living with a congenital heart defect (CHD) in 2010. The American Heart Association’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Learn more at www.heart.org. Money raised at events like the Heart Walk help fund research.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by White Plains Hospital, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Fujifilm, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, New York Medical College, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, The Peak, Buzz Creators, News 12 Westchester, and Westchester Magazine.