Wilda Evans Indiana
Wilda Evans realized the importance of heart health as a young girl as she watched her father suffer a series of heart attacks five years apart. “When my father was in his 70s, the doctors told him he had the body of a 50-year old. He was fit and healthy, except for his heart” Evans said. “My mantra became: There are a lot of things that I may not be able to control regarding my health, due to genetics and the environment, but there are things I can do so that I’m not increasing my risk. Eating healthy, diet, exercise, not smoking.”
Evans began supporting the American Heart Association during the years following her father’s first heart attack and has continued to advocate for the organization over the years. She has participated in the Indianapolis Heart Walk almost since the event’s inception 25 years ago. “My mom also had heart failure and a series of strokes, and her father died of a massive stroke the week before I was born. I’ve also had some cousins who have died too young,” she said of her family history of heart disease and stroke.
Most recently, Evans’ family dealt with a stroke two years ago. Evans’ son-in-law was brushing his teeth when he became disoriented and unable to speak. Fortunately, Evans’ daughter was in the next room and immediately recognized he was having a stroke. Within 30 minutes, he was being treated with clot-busting drugs at the hospital.
“There have been so many strides and advancements over the years, and I continue to support the AHA because of the valuable work being done. Without support, there would be less funding for research and education. The upcoming generations need to know that it’s important to keep their hearts healthy.”