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Christen & Maria Age: 20 & 38

CHRISTEN & MARIA'S STORY

Age: 20 & 38

Christen:

I don't have any risk factors for heart disease other than a family history. Watching my mom deal with heart disease has taught me to be mindful of what I do everyday, like what I eat. I want to learn as much as I can about heart disease.

Maria:

While I was pregnant with my third child at age 32, I started experiencing complications with my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my OBGYN failed to diagnose my early symptoms as heart disease. After I went back to the hospital and saw another doctor I was shocked to learn that I was having a massive heart attack. The doctors couldn't identify what caused or triggered my heart attack.

I'm under a physician's care and see a cardiologist regularly. Since the heart attack, I try to walk at least four miles a day and avoid foods high in cholesterol, salt, sugar, and fat. I know how important heart health is and so I try to pass this knowledge and healthy lifestyle on to my kids.

This experience has changed the way I look at life-and I live one day at a time now. I've reprioritized things in my life to focus on taking care of my family and myself. I recognize the importance of loved ones.

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Last Updated: February 29, 2012

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