MY DAD IS WHY!
I work for the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children's. I have the opportunity to connect with children and families in the community each week to talk about heart health. This is a topic dear to me as I lost my dad, Lee, to heart disease 13 years ago this year.
I consider myself lucky. I had the opportunity to spend 30 years of my life with my dad. He taught me how to ride a bike, drive a car (stick shift and all!) and sail. He was there when I graduated high school and college. He was my co-pilot on the long drive cross-country for my first and second jobs. He walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.
Over those 30 years, he also became my biggest cheerleader - helping to push me to fulfill my dreams even if that meant tough decisions and a few fearful tears. I can still remember the feel of his bear hug when miles set up apart and the sound of this voice when we spoke. And I will never forget his off-beat dance moves and singing voice to the likes of Billy Joel and the Beach Boys! Believe me, it was something to remember!
My dad died on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at the young age of 59 years old. Cardiovascular disease ran in his family. He made triumphant efforts to eat healthy and exercise regularly, and had had a stress test and physical completed just 3 months prior to his death. Ultimately, genetics won. He had a massive heart attack and dies almost instantly.
Now it's time for me to be his cheerleader by encouraging others to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. This March, I will run in the Heart Mini 5K in honor of my dad. Please help me share his story and raise funds for the American Heart Association to support lifesaving research.
Thank you in advance for your support!