Dear friends and family,
I'll be running the New York City Marathon this November 3, 2019, in honor of Jessy, my teammate, and for heart health awareness.
This July, Jessy Scarpone, a dear friend, a competitive runner, and gifted artist, passed away upon cardiac arrest. She was 27 and, by most accounts, very healthy.
Jessy had a family history of heart arrhythmias. She had noticed abnormally high heart rate during workouts. But overcoming pain was also part of Jessy’s DNA as a competitive runner. “She ran her little heart out,” Carla, Jessy’s mother, recalls. “It never occurred to her to get checked out.” She was also uninsured, and Carla suspects the healthcare cost deterred here from getting checked out.
We, as Jessy's family and friends, have sought for positivity and looked for ways to best mark Jessy’s legacy. We, under Carla's leadership, decided that raising heart health awareness for athletes would be a good starting point in underpinning her legacy.
Please consider supporting Jessy's Team for $1, $10, or $100 per mile. This year’s proceeds will go towards American Heart Association, with directed purpose of furthering research on athletes’ cardiovascular health.
A recent University of British Columbia research showed that “athletes are not immune to elevated cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular disease.” While over-alarmism is to be avoided, we hope Jessy’s case encourages those who are symptomatic to understand that athletes - young and old - and heart conditions often intersect.
In closing, I'd like to share one of my favourite quotes from Jessy: "As cheesy as it is, running has brought me into, and out of, some tough points in my life. It has taught me what it means to work for something, even if you know you may not get it – something that I’m learning applies to many aspects of adulthood. […] I’ve also met incredible people through a sport that, I once viewed as cruel and unusual punishment.”
- Jessy’s Team, 2019
Resources: Columbia University Medical Center’s Sports Cardiology (https://www.columbiadoctors.org/specialties/cardiology-cardiac-surgery/our-services/sports-cardiology) Mount Sinai Cardiology (https://www.mountsinai.org/care/heart/team