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Share Your Story: Sonja Watson

by Christy D. on Monday, May 5, 2014

Sonja Watson Iowa

"Eat all your food, there are hungry children in this world," was a phrase I heard often when I was a child and I still think of it today when I sit down to eat a meal. Of course the food we ate was commonly full of salt and unhealthy fat.

As an African-American woman, I believe we need to educate ourselves on the number one killer in our ethnic group, that being heat disease. I always knew that diabetes and heart disease ran in my family, but it did not sound like a bad thing, never believing that it could happen to me, just something that we had to deal with.

It hit home for me on December 22, 2008, the day I lost my mother. She had so many struggles and complications that she had been facing as a result of four major strokes and diabetes over the course of several years. It began with a lack of education on the causes and risk factors of heart disease and stroke. What you learn is what you have been taught by previous generations. You end up passing on that same knowledge onto your children. This is why I feel it is important to educate ourselves so that we can spread the word to future generations on the importance of taking care of themselves.

I also struggle with my own up and down weight issues but I am grateful that "You’re the Cure" and American Heart Association is here to help people, like myself, develop and maintain a healthy heart.

I often think that if I had only one wish, what would it be? My wish would be to live a heart healthy lifestyle so I may see my children grow up, marry and start their own families raising their own heart healthy children.