Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. Moreover, African American women are disproportionately affected by heart disease, leading the death rate regardless of age. Fortunately, we can help change some of these statistics because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.
As for my story, I was diagnosed with a chronic heart disease called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) at the age of 18. It’s estimated that 1 in every 500 people have HCM, but a large percentage of patients are undiagnosed. HCM is the most common reason for sudden cardiac death in young people and athletes under the age of 35, and almost took my life on August 4, 2020 when I experienced a sudden cardiac arrest while working out with my friends Feliks, Emily, and Travers. Thankfully, they knew to call 911 and how to initiate CPR thanks to educational campaigns by organizations like AHA.
Most people are surprised when I tell them my story because I'm not the 'typical' person you imagine when you think of heart disease. Donations to organizations like the AHA help fund awareness campaigns, health equity initiatives, and research that can save women's lives, especially those groups that are impacted disproportionately.
I'd love if you'd consider donating to this cause or even just taking time to read about heart dieasese on the American Heart Association's website if you are unable to give: https://www.heart.org/