I am walking because for years I had symptoms of heart disease that were misdiagnosed as simply being tired or having heartburn. In reality, I had a serious heart condition.
Several years ago, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in which the heart becomes enlarged and significantly reduces the heart's ability to pump blood, resulting in heart failure.
Cardiomyopathy is the leading reason for heart transplantation. Thanks to advancements in research, medications are now a potential alternative to heart transplants for many suffering with this disease.
I am fortunate to have a wonderful cardiac team at Brigham & Women’s who have effectively utilized medications to stabilize my condition and I am beginning to show signs of improved heart function. I hope to never have to undergo a heart transplant.
While the exact cause of cardiomyopathy is often not understood, I learned that my son, Devin, has a 40% greater chance of developing cardiomyopathy simply because I have it. Thankfully, Devin has not shown any sign of heart disease so far. He will continue to undergo annual exams to ensure early detection in the event he does.
I am hopeful that with continued research the causes of cardiomyopathy will be better understood and improved treatments can be developed, for Devin’s sake and for the sake of countless others who will develop this disease.
I share my story to raise awareness of cardiomyopathy and ask you to help fund future research by supporting me as I lead my team “Heart Strong” in the Boston Heart Walk on Saturday, September 17th.
If you suffer from extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and/or chronic heartburn, please contact your doctor and schedule a heart exam to rule out cardiomyopathy. Early detection greatly increases the chances of recovery.
Thank you in advance for your support!