Impact of Philanthropy
Emily was in trouble
At the age of 63 she had lost her job and found herself having to take a part-time job with no healthcare benefits. To make matters worse she had been experiencing chest pain but could not afford to see a physician.
Thanks to the Fox Valley Heart Fund, her luck was about to change. Emily took advantage of a free heart risk screening sponsored by the Fund. During her conversation with the nurse regarding her cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk, she admitted that she had been experiencing symptoms of heart disease.
Understanding Emily’s level of risk for a heart attack, the nurse provided her with vital information on the warning signs and symptoms of heart attack and gave her several community healthcare options that might help her through this difficult time.
Through a local research study she received no cost diagnostic testing and a physical exam which confirmed that she did indeed have heart disease and would need intervention.
Emily’s heart disease couldn’t wait until she had healthcare coverage. She needed help now. Luckily, Emily received heart by-pass and is able to tell her story. Emily realizes that if she had not had the opportunity for the free cardiovascular risk screening her story ending may have been very different.
Despite discovering moderate blockage in her heart after a routine test, Melodee went back to her normal lifestyle of long work hours and regular gym visits. Her body kept telling her something was wrong, though. Sometime later, she woke up feeling extremely tired and anxious. A trip to the hospital and an angiogram test later found a 99 percent blockage in one of her arteries which required angioplasty.
Like the vast majority of American women, Melodee was uninformed of her risk of heart disease and unable to recognize the warning signs. Melodee never ignores her body’s warning signals now and she is committed to encouraging women to become advocates for their own health.
Larry had worked hard all his life and then at age 54 his employer closed its doors. Finding a new job wasn’t easy. Finding healthcare coverage that he could afford was even harder.
Through a local community healthcare fair, Larry was able to receive a heart risk assessment and free cholesterol and diabetes screening. Learning that he was borderline diabetic was frightening. But the education provided by the fund gave him the tools to make lifestyle changes to prevent himself from becoming diabetic. All he needed was a little help from a friend.