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Survivor Stories
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Nothing is more powerful than a story from the heart.  Stories of survival make the facts and figures on women's heart disease come to life and echo the importance of WomenHeart messages of prevention and early detection, accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment. 

Our WomenHeart Champions are not only survivors, but the"boots on the ground" in the fight against heart disease. These women have gone on to educate and support thousands of women nationwide by writing books, starting their own nonprofit organizations, contributing to groundbreaking research and using their voices to raise awareness of the number one killer of women. 

 


Monthly Champion Spotlight - May
Meet Mary Anne Norling

Pregnant with her first baby at 23 years old, Mary Anne Norling was excited and nervous, bracing herself for the Washington, D.C. summer heat when she found out she had pre-eclampsia. The first health scare of many she would endure and survive Norling didn’t know that much about the disease. Ultimately, it led to an emergency cesarean section and even post-eclampsia.
 
It was only two and a half years later that she had a severe stroke due to a congenital arteriovenous malformation which may have been weakened by the preeclampsia. When malformation burst in her left brain, Norling lost all mobility on her right side, including her speech. Though she re-learned to walk fairly quickly, it took two to three years working closely with a speech therapist to regain her ability to speak. Now, she knows that research is beginning to link pre-eclampsia to an increased risk of developing heart disease. And that advocating for women’s health is something within her power.


Read her full story.


 

WomenHeart Champion Survivor Stories

 
Carol:  "I started having indigestion late one afternoon while meeting with clients.  As I sat listening to the auctioneer present my clients with various alternatives to selling their home, the pain intensified.  I told my client, who happened to be a doctor, about my symptom, and he explained that it may be a gall bladder issue since I had no other symptoms of a heart attack... [read more]

 

 

 


 
 
 
Janice: "Early one morning I began having pain in my chest and sweating.  It felt like all my body functions were out of control.  I did not think that what was happening was a heart attack, but to be on the safe side my husband and I left for the hospital... [read more]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Kimberly: Kimberly was diagnosed with a heart murmur at the age of 12. When she was 17, she was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. By the age of 21, Kimberly was in heart failure and was put on the heart transplant list. [view Kim's video]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Champion Spotlight Archive

May 2018 - Meet Mary Anne Norling
Pregnant with her first baby at 23 years old, Mary Anne Norling was excited and nervous, bracing herself for the Washington, D.C. summer heat when she found out she had pre-eclampsia. 

April 2018 - Meet Marcia Egeland
You know all those headlines that read, “How could a healthy, 40-something have a heart attack?” What they don’t seem to understand, is that heart disease does not discriminate.

March 2018 -  Then and Now: Dawn Manogue and Lily Toomey
Dawn was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy—a form of heart failure due to pregnancy—in 2001, just seven weeks after giving birth. "I was misdiagnosed,” Dawn says. “I was in end-stage heart failure, but they told me I had New-Mommy anxiety. 

 


Meet More of Our Champions      

WomenHeart Champion Florence           WomenHeart Champion Carol
WomenHeart Champion Pam      WomenHeart Champion Roxanne 
WomenHeart Champion Eileen                    WomenHeart Champion Mildred 
WomenHeart Champion Joe Ann                WomenHeart Champion Dawn

 

 

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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the nearly 48 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Our programs are made possible by donations, grants and corporate partnerships.

2016 Copyright - WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a founding partner of The Heart Truth Red Dress campaign. The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of HHS.