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Heart Conditions and Disease

“The cause that is important to me is awareness, funding, and research for heart conditions and heart disease. As a 37 year old woman, I just had my very first open heart surgery on February 20, 2019. I was born with congenital Aortic Stenosis and I’m grateful I made it for 37 years without needing much intervention. I was diagnosed with my condition around 18 months old and to look at me when I was diagnosed, you’d never know I had anything wrong because thankfully I looked healthy. I was able to be active growing up: swim team member, dancer, instructor for aerobics and Zumba, collegiate cheerleader, and also to give birth to two healthy children- all things we weren’t sure I would be able to do with my condition. We always knew the day for repairing my valve would come but we weren’t sure when or to what extent the surgery would be. As scared as I was to have my first major surgery, I felt a sense of peace with knowing my surgeon and my team helped me make the decisions we all felt comfortable with and that the latest technology would help this journey. That wouldn’t happen without awareness, funding, and research! From the time I was a little girl and knew I had this condition to the present time, I have seen how much technology has advanced and helped so many to be able to repair, replace, rebuild, recover, and have their lives live on. I’m one of them. My hope is that people will continue to speak up and speak out on this cause because one person can make the biggest difference and create a huge movement! All it takes is one! Having something you can wear every day- your own conversation piece you can wear like these amazing necklaces- helps get the conversation started. I’m excited to have this beautiful accessory to wear on top of my scar!” @mandahelen717

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