I walk in honor of my mom, who was my best friend, and grandfather, who both suffered the best years of their lives with heart issues.
I walk in honor of all of my relatives and friends who have had open heart surgeries, valves replaced, stents, and who suffer with congestive heart failure and high blood pressure.
I walk to raise awareness and plead with you to be honest with your doctors whenever you have something going on that just doesn't feel quite right, because you never know how something seemingly minor may turn into something life-threatening.
I lost my mom May 3, 2015 and she would still be here had she been honest with her doctor about an issue that was totally unrelated to her heart. You see, she was scared. She had an issue with a valve and, because her quadruple bipass surgery was so overwhelming for her years prior, she was afraid to get her value fixed. She was afraid of any surgery, of all but one of her doctors. Like most of us, she hated going to the doctor and avoided it at all costs. She assumed her pain and issues were related to diabetes or her heart, or even the flu. Ultimately, her high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, coupled with pain and distress, caused her to be put on a ventilator...which she never came off of. A bad gallbladder was the catalyst, causing bad blood counts, kidney failure and more.
I hope and pray we all have access to the best doctors, who diagnose us properly, and that we are trusting of our doctors, take their advice, and have the courage to get fixed so that we can live our best lives for not just ourselves, but for the love our our families and everyone who wants and needs us in their lives.