Grandpa passed away at 60 yrs old from Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) & an enlarged heart. Our Dad, at 55 yrs, suffered several heart attacks before getting triple by pass surgery. He's had angioplasty since then, all from CAD. Now, at 80 yrs old, Dad's battling congestive heart failure. He has only 1 artery open at 50%, everything else is 100% blocked.

I was born with a defective mitral valve that was repaired in Fall, 2010 at 50 yrs old. Throughout my Father's 25 year journey, going with him to all his rehabilitation and cardiac appointments has saved my own life thus far from CAD, which my 4 male siblings and I are all at very high risk.

In July 2010, an angiogram confirmed that I had the arteries & veins of a teenager (NO CAD!) Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect the angiogram results I received. I knew that changing my diet & lifestyle over the years to being more active would prolong CAD, although I couldn't escape the other genetic component of a faulty mitral valve, which required open-heart surgery.

My siblings are all in DENIAL & coming around slowly, now that I have made them binders from my cardiac rehab that focuses on preventive & reversal of CAD & educating them on awareness.

Staying physically active & changing my diet & lifestyle over the years has contributed to my successful surgery. I now dance, swim, run, bike, & hike, etc. once again without any problems, I'm 51 now. Recovery involved a week hospital stay, 8 weeks physiotherapy (not the normal route), before getting into cardiac rehab 12 week program. Currently I do the cardiac program at home now, it will be a part of my lifestyle FOREVER. This winter I plan on getting back into cross-country skiing after missing it all last year with my own heart journey recovery.

In Feb, 2011 the Calgary Cardiac Center produced DVD which I am a participant of with other cardiac patients - Your Journey To Heart Health! It is now given to every patient at the Cardiac Center & through the hospital's cardiac departments; no patient goes home without it!

I am very grateful to have been on the journey with my Father & to have him here with me on my own journey 25 years later. We have all been blessed to have Dad in our lives all these years. Our Dad went onwards after his own open-heart surgery & named 2 restaurants (B.C. & AB) the HeartBeat Restaurant offering heart smart foods on his menus & he educated his customers every day about heart disease, he only retired in 2006!

I started to attend the Calgary Woman's Heart to Heart group during my recovery at the Cardiac Clinic. The group offers wonderful support and fabulous speakers from laughing yoga, to understanding natural supplements & interactions with prescription medications, & everything in between, etc. We meet monthly and the group also get together with the Men's group a couple times of the year for social events. If you or anyone you know has heart disease, know that it is never to late to start making changes with one step at a time towards a healthy & active lifestyle.


Download the Woman to Woman Cardiac Support brochure.

Heart to Heart Support Society

Education . Networking . Support
Providing support and encouragement to women with heart disease as they examine and deal with issues unique to women.