When I was 5 years old, I was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. At the time, there was not a lot known about the disease or when to diagnose it. I was extremely sick and stayed in the hospital for several weeks, and there was a time frame that my family and the hospital was worried I was not going to make it.
I consider myself very lucky, because there was a brand-new doctor to our area who had just learned about the disease (how to diagnose it, but even more importantly how to treat it). After treatment began, I started showing improvement and was able to return home.
Growing up I had to do regular echocardiograms to show that my heart was healthy and to lower the risks associated with having a prior heart condition. I still experience irregular heart rhythym which can be scary, but I take pride working for a company that provides AEDs and values colloboration with the American Heart Association to better the lives of those impacted by heart disease.
I am passionate about this cause because if Kawasaki disease had not been researched and had a treatment plan identified I would not be here today, and I am confident there are other people out there, that have cures or ways to avoid heart disease and stroke altogether through research and outreach. If we continue to fundraise I am confident the number of deaths and life changing cardiac events and strokes will be reduced overtime across the world like it was for me.
I fight for those who didn’t have the chance to fight for themselves, and for those who can be saved in the future.