American Heart Association kicks off social media campaign to curb heart disease in Missouri
NoMoHeartDisease campaign spreads awareness
JOPLIN, Mo. — According to the American Heart Association, 14-thousand people in Missouri die from heart disease every year.
To try and lower that number, the organization has launched a new online campaign that focuses on survivor’s stories.
One of them is Carthage resident Jana Smith.
Jana Smith:”I remember just wanting to be a normal teenager. I wanted to go to dances, I wanted to hang out with my friends on the weekends, and I didn’t have my mom.. so I didn’t feel like a normal teenager like my other friends did.”
Jana Smith is no stranger to the heart ache that loosing a loved one can cause.
When she was just sixteen years old, she lost her mother Rhonda to a heart attack.
Smith:”Sshe was only thirty four years old.. and my grandma also died of a heart attack when she was only thirty one years old. You know.. that was incredibly hard.”
It wasn’t until Smith was 23 years old that she discovered she has high cholesterol and inherited small arteries from her mother.. increasing her own risk for having heart disease.
Smith:”I’ve outlived my mom by five years, I’ve outlived my grandma by eight years, and I don’t know if I would be here, I don’t know if I would have a son if I hadn’t gotten my numbers checked.. so absolutely, I think that it did potentially save my life.”
Smith is now sharing her story as part of the “NoMoHeartDisease” campaign, a year long initiative by the American Heart Association that’s aiming to spread awareness of heart disease in Missouri.
Peggy Scott, American Heart Association:”We are telling a different story every month to help people be aware and learn about the risks and signs and symptoms. If we did it one time and it was gone, then maybe it wouldn’t resonate with people. So hopefully, it just sticks with us longer, it resonates with us and helps people to be able to share that information as well.”
The organization has launched a new website dedicated to the cause.. which features testimonials form heart attack, stroke and general heart disease survivors.. as well as resources for seeing if you are at risk of heart disease.
It’s a cause that Smith is happy to be a part of.. so no one has to feel the same heart ache that she did.
Smith:”With my family’s unique story, I hope to educate others and bring awareness to heart disease, especially in women because I don’t want other families to have to go through what my family’s had to go through.”
The campaign will feature a new “survivor” every month during 2019.
If you would like to learn more about the campaign, follow this link to the website.
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