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PATIENT SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Our patient spotlight highlights a variety of women who have benefited, supported or have been involved with Have a Heart Save a Heart in some way. 

 

Every woman has a unique story, a reason they support the HAHSAH mission and a belief that women, of all ages, should have access to resources and education around heart health. 

Interested in being a patient spotlight?

Liz Gould

Heart Patient

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What is your involvement with Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

I was introduced to Have a Heart Save a Heart through cardiologist Nicole Weinberg. In 2020, I discovered I would need open heart surgery to repair two of my heart valves. At that time, I consulted with Nicole on who to go to for surgery and care. Being a young and healthy 44 year old woman, I had no idea I had an issue with my heart. Now, a walking public service announcement, I advocate for everyone to get their hearts checked whether you have family history symptoms or not.

 

Why do you support Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

I support Have a Heart Save a Heart because I want women to take care of themselves with regular check ups, making sure they ask for full work ups on their heart. Additionally, I love the mission of prevention and early detection.

 

What resonates with you the most about the Have a Heart Save a Heart mission?

 

I never in a million years would have thought I would need heart surgery, and I’m so incredibly lucky I went and got a physical with a doctor who even thought to look at my heart. I hope I can prevent more women from going through that shock or worse, letting a problem persist to the point of failure. Women often avoid appointments in favor of other responsibilities–kids, home, work. Women don’t know the risks or the importance of taking control of their health.

Daniele Tyus

Volunteer

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What is your involvement with Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

My involvement with Have a Heart Save a Heart first began while being employed at Pacific Heart Institute. Dr.’s Nicole Weinberg and Sarina Van Der Zee were extremely excited regarding the symposium they were putting on to help educate women about the functionality of the heart as well as heart disease. This prompted me to be a volunteer and to assist the wonderful physicians spread the word of their long-term vision with women’s health. I was one of the lucky ones to be a part of this amazing event; volunteering and honored to sit in the audience to educate myself with cardiovascular disease for women.

 

Why do you support Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

I support Have a Heart Save a Heart because there are few communities discussing such an important topic; the number one cause of women’s death in America which is heart disease. Knowledge is power and with the information these caring physicians provide, women of all ages can make informed decisions about their health.

I too am a cardiac patient and was born with a congenital heart defect which I knew nothing about until my late 30’s. The information provided to me at that time was good but minimal. Being a part of this great organization has broadened my understanding of cardiovascular disease for myself and other women.

 

What resonates with you the most about the Have a Heart Save a Heart mission?

 

The Have a Heart Save a Heart mission resonates with me because it is an essential tool for women to be able to protect their health. The knowledge that is being passed on by this mission has the ability to save lives.

Jen Bosworth-Ramirez

Television writer, heart patient

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What is your involvement with Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

My cardiologist, Dr. Weinberg is amazing and kind–her care and kindness with me has changed the way I look at heart health and the importance of taking care of myself as I age,  and advocating for myself and making heart health a priority. She has COMPLETELY changed the way I think about WHY heart health matters and she has done it in a way that is NON SHAMING and SUPPORTIVE. I love Dr. Weinberg and think women's heart health at ANY AGE is super important now, because of her!

 

Why do you support Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

I used to think that heart health awareness was for older folks and I paid VERY LITTLE attention to my heart health. I wasn't making healthy eating choices, wasn't managing my stress and didn't take the time to move my body. All things ESSENTIAL to heart health. In 2021 I ended up in the hospital with AFIB. It was time to make some major changes. I was referred to Dr. Weinberg by my ER Cardiologist and the rest is history. I am 46 and in the best shape of my life. I still have a ways to go but I am on my way! I have lost 30 pounds and have become very committed to learning about women's heart health and am invested in making sure I take excellent care of my heart. This includes treating my sleep apnea, monitoring my blood pressure, managing my stress and being aware of what foods I am eating. And of course, checking in with Dr. Weinberg! 

 

I want ALL women, everywhere to be able to treat and get ahead of their heart health. I knew NOTHING about my heart until I ended up in the ER with AFIB and I would LOVE for other women to NOT have to go  through what I did in order to start taking care of their heart health!

 

What resonates with you the most about the Have a Heart Save a Heart mission?

 

ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE NEED EDUCATION ABOUT HEART HEALTH. Early and often! Let's start when women are little girls! Let's not wait. I never ever thought I would have a heart issue, let alone at 45 years old! I support Have a Heart because I think the work they are doing is essential to help women everywhere, from every background take ownership of their heart health and lead long and wonderful lives. I am so grateful for Dr. Weinberg and those like her, helping women everywhere know and realize their heart health matters and they are worth taking care of. 

Marisa Landsberg

Heart Patient

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What is your involvement with Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

I am currently working on connecting HAHSAH with other charities to help build awareness around this very important mission. Connecting these different charities with similar causes has the potential to be that much more impactful.

 

Why do you support Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

I support HAHSAH because I was always under the impression that I would never have heart disease. I have a vegan diet, I have a slender build, I'm young and I exercise all the time.  When I did get diagnosed with heart disease, it was a shock and really opened my eyes to the fact that anyone can get this disease. Other risk factors that I was unaware of include damage to blood vessels during pregnancy and hormonal changes. There are so many different factors that can lead to heart disease - not just smoking, diabetes and weight.  Hormone changes are so important to be aware of and it is critical that your doctor asks you about how your body handled pregnancies and hormone changes during the course of a women's life.

 

The most surprising part was that my Internist wasn't even aware that heart disease would be considered with the symptoms that I had and was really surprised by my ultimate diagnosis. My lipid numbers were so low and very 'deceiving' to him so much so that he wasn't aware that I could have heart disease. What I have discovered is that numbers aren't the only factor.  I know men with high cholesterol and zero coronary calcium score but I have low cholesterol numbers and a high coronary calcium score. It is never good to be the unusual case but I am realizing through my experience that I am not really that unusual.

 

What resonates with you the most about the Have a Heart Save a Heart mission?

 

I am a woman and the focus of HAHSAH is to educate women about heart disease which is not something you typically hear about. I value the fact that they provide the education people need in this area. My Internist is a great doctor but was he aware that hormone changes can be contributory to heart studies then maybe I would have known more in advance. I believe more research needs to be done toward women’s heart disease and I support HAHSAH since it focuses on women and on a disease that is often overlooked in women. I think it’s important to support women financially to get proper testing–economic status shouldn’t be the determining factor of when you get care. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have access to care but it’s good to have an organization to step in and help women when they need it. Any focus on women's health is valuable to me–if I can keep more people healthy, that would be a gift.

Tricia Drum - Lal, PA-C

Physician Assistant, Westside Internal Medicine

What is your involvement with Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

I am a post-partum cardiomyopathy & CHF patient at Pacific Heart Institute.  In addition, I am a Physician Assistant who worked at St. Johns Emergency room for 20 years.  Currently I am working at Westside Internal Medicine with Dr. Ernie Prudente.  I have been blessed to see all the amazing things Have a Heart Save a Heart has done for so many women over the past few years.  It is really an amazing organization, that can help so many women.

 

Why do you support Have a Heart Save a Heart?

 

 I support HAHSAH because being a mom and a medical professional with heart disease is a very scary thing.  Fortunately, I have been so lucky to have two amazing doctors at PHI working with me to help save my heart.   Dr. Weinberg and Dr. Vander Zee have both helped me through the hardest time in my life, and they are both incredible women.  Being a healthcare provider, I have always had the need to serve others, and after many years of stress and long shifts working in the ER, I eventually learned what it meant to be on the other side as a patient.  Many years of stress and lack of quality sleep definitely had an adverse effect on my heart.   After having my second child, I developed Cardiomyopathy & CHF, thankfully it resolved but then re-occurred 5 years later.  The second time around was a real wakeup call and it made me realize that I needed to change things.  I have had many up and downs over the years, but thankfully it has all worked out for the best. I do believe everything happens for a reason.  I am grateful for all those who have helped get me through the past 7 years.  I will never forget all of the kindness and wonderful healthcare that I have received.

 

What resonates with you the most about the Have a Heart Save a Heart mission?

 

Have a Heart Save a Hearts mission resonates with me because I have personally benefited from what they are providing.  From the cutting-edge technology, seminars, health and wellness programs, there is so much to offer so many women.  The doctors behind HAHSAH have directly helped save my life, in so many different ways.  Finally, I believe that all of the education and awareness they bring to the community is going to help so many other women in the years to come and that is really remarkable.