Women and Heart Disease Prevention: Jennifer’s Story

Women and Heart Disease Prevention: Jennifer’s Story

January 5, 2020 3 By Bertrand Dibbert


Jennifer: I WAS EXTREMELY
WORRIED ABOUT BREAST CANCER. I WAS NOT WORRIED
ABOUT HEART DISEASE. HEART DISEASE
WASN’T EVEN IN MY — IT WASN’T EVEN ON THE RADAR. WHOA. WAIT A MINUTE,
I’M 36 YEARS OLD, AND I JUST GOT SMACKED
WITH MY MORTALITY. IT’S A DIFFICULT PAIN
TO DESCRIBE. PEOPLE TALK ABOUT
THAT CRUSHING FEELING, LIKE AN ELEPHANT
SITTING ON YOUR CHEST, BUT IT’S SO UNFAMILIAR,
YOU JUST — YOU — YOU — IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. IT’S A PAIN
I’VE NEVER FELT BEFORE AND I DON’T WANT TO
EVER FEEL AGAIN. I SMOKED.
I DIDN’T GET GOOD SLEEP. I WASN’T REALLY EXERCISING.
I DIDN’T REALLY EAT WELL. STRESS LIKE 120% ALL DAY LONG. IT WAS ALL
SORT OF AN AFTERTHOUGHT, BECAUSE, REALLY, MY MAIN THING
WAS MY CAREER. THE HEART ATTACK
STOPPED ME DEAD IN MY TRACKS. IT’S LIKE THE GIG’S UP. YOU LIVE IN FEAR.
[ SNIFFLES ] YOU DON’T KNOW
WHICH DAY WILL BE YOUR LAST. IT WAS BABY STEPS OVER HURDLES
EVERY SINGLE DAY TO LIVE NORMAL AGAIN. THE FIRST TIME I WALKED A BLOCK, [ Voice breaking ]
I WAS SO AFRAID. WOMEN JUST NEED TO WAKE UP. HEART DISEASE IS
THE NUMBER-ONE KILLER OF WOMEN. I KNOW, WHEN WOMEN
ARE LISTENING TO THIS, THEY’RE LIKE,
“OKAY, YEAH, SURE.” THEY NEED TO KNOW THEIR NUMBERS. THEY NEED TO KNOW
THEIR CHOLESTEROL. THEY NEED TO KNOW THEIR HISTORY. THEY NEED TO KNOW THEIR BMI.
THEY NEED TO WATCH THEIR STRESS. I CAN REMEMBER LAYING
IN THE HOSPITAL, SAYING, “I HAVE GOT TO DO
SOMETHING ABOUT THIS,” SO I TOOK MY STORY
TO THE AIRWAVES. IF WHAT I’VE BEEN THROUGH HELPS
ANOTHER WOMAN SEE THE LIGHT, THEN IT MAKES IT WORTH IT. THIS IS YOUR MOTHER.
THIS IS YOUR GRANDMOTHER. THIS IS YOUR SISTER.
THIS IS YOUR DAUGHTER. TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE STUDIES
NOW UNDER WAY GIVES ME GREAT RELIEF. SOMEBODY OUT THERE IS LOOKING. THAT’S WHAT MATTERS THE MOST. RED DRESS, TO ME, MEANS
I’M NOT ALONE AND I’VE NEVER BEEN ALONE. AND I WANT OTHER WOMEN TO KNOW
THAT THEY’RE NOT ALONE, BECAUSE THAT RED DRESS MEANS
WE’RE ALL HERE. AND WE ARE FIGHTING,
AND WE’RE GONNA TACKLE THIS.