I just had the priviledge of meeting Lori when she came in for this project. She is so sweet, has a very touching story (survived breast cancer!), and I loved the little time we had together! Her smile is so genuine, and she has such kind eyes. I am so glad she was open and honest enough to share her story with everyone to help continue to spread awareness and educate others through this project.
Here is her story:
- Have you ever lost anyone due to a heart related health issue?
- If you answered yes to the previous question and you’re comfortable answering- what happened? And to whom?
My Father had heart issues that started in his 50’s. When he was 54 he had quadruple bypass open heart surgery. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 70 from congestive heart failure. I still miss my dad very much and am bummed I lost him when I was only 23.
- Why do you want to be a part of this project?
I would like to raise awareness to others about heart issues.
- How have you been affected by Heart Health?
I was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure in November 2017 at the age of 50. I went in to the walk-in clinic just before Thanksgiving and they thought it was pneumonia after doing some tests. Friday after Thanksgiving my breathing was getting worse so I had my daughter take me to the ER. I was admitted and they did multiple tests and told me I had congestive heart failure and my heart was pumping at only 15-20 %. I had to spend 5 days in the hospital. I am now doing cardiac rehab 3 times a week, additional exercise, taking heart medication and watching my sodium intake. I have also not been drinking alcohol. I will go back to the cardiologist in March for a check up.
- What do you want people to know?
The signs and symptoms to any kind of heart problems or conditions. I seriously thought I had pneumonia and had no idea it was heart related.
- How has this all changed your life?
It was very scary and I feel like I am very fortunate to be here so I am doing the things the doctors have suggested to improve my weak heart muscle.
- What’s the most important thing in the world to you?
My friends and family are the most important thing in the world to me and I want to live longer to be able to spend more time with them.
- If this was your last week on earth, how would you live it?
That is very hard to answer but I would be sure to tell all the people I care about how important they are to me!!
- What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my job and also breast cancer awareness! I am a survivor since 2004 and I am very involved in Relay for Life as the team captain for the Billings Association of Realtors team since 2005.
- What do you love about yourself?
I would have to say that I am very giving toward others and care about how they are doing.
- Anything else you want to add?
I am planning to learn more about heart issues and would also like to be involved in spreading awareness to other people.
Thank you Lori SO much for sharing that. Wow… breast cancer survivor and then to get news like that about your heart after thinking it was pneumonia. You are so strong, so beautiful, & so brave. I am so glad you are a part of this project.