What would you do if you had a heart attack? What if you were still relatively young--only in your 40's? What if your doctor misdiagnosed you? What if you couldn’t find resources, answers, education, and well, emotional support because no one really understood the challenges you faced? What would you do?
If it were me facing a heart attack in my 40's with all of the complications that come from living with heart disease, I hope I’d have the courage to do what the founders of WomenHeart did--take action! WomenHeart was founded by Nancy Loving, Jackie Markham and Judy Mingram. All three suffered early heart attacks (in their 40's) and were living with heart disease. Separated geographically, they met purely by happenstance when they were interviewed for an article about women and heart disease.
Call it chance, lucky coincidence or providence, but the results of that interview was the formation of an organization that is much, much more than just a support network for women with heart disease. WomenHeart has the sole mission of raising awareness and educating (in all areas: prevention, detection, treatment, etc.), women about heart disease. Let’s face it--we need the education. According to the American Heart Association, only about 40 percent of women consider themselves to be really educated about heart disease. To make matters worse, that 40 percent figure only applies to Anglo women. The level of education regarding heart disease in women is much less in minority women. For example, only one-third of Hispanic women reported being knowledgeable about heart disease. Only a third!
Heart disease is still the number one killer of women in the United States (yes, heart disease claims more of our sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, and friends than cancer or any other disease), and this lack of awareness and education was unacceptable to the founders of WomenHeart. A national organization, WomenHeart is the only such organization with its focus solely on a woman’s heart health.