American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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My Story: Michele Beck

by Anne S. on Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Michele Beck Glen Ellyn, IL

When I was 33 years old, I went to see my doctor and told her that I had pains in my chest and shortness of breath. I am a petite woman and was thin and young. Therefore, my doctor didn't run one heart test. I continued to see her off and on for one more year. Then at the age of 34 I had a heart attack. I called the paramedics and they came to my house and told me I was having an anxiety attack. They graciously took me to the hospital where I had another heart attack in the ER. Since that date I have two stents placed in my heart. The medications I take are not made for a woman who ages and changes. Research is needed badly so that it can keep up with the changes a women's body goes through. I am thankful to be alive, I pray to live so I can see my grandchildren grow up. Research will increase my chance of reaching an old age. Without research my daughters and granddaughters will all suffer the same fate in life that I have suffered.

Thanks to Go Red For Women, I learned the value of Hands-Only CPR and in July of 2011, I used it on my husband who died of a sudden cardiac death and is alive and sitting next to me today as I type. This is the value of research and knowing CPR.  I recently had the opportunity to attend You're the Cure On the Hill, AHA's national lobby day and advocate for research funding and share my story with my lawmakers.  I am blessed by all of the people I met at the event and pray with my husband Gary that heart disease and stroke lessen each year and the million hearts we save grow up to each save a million more.