Jen and Maria Fashion Show horizontalI met Maria at the first Go Red for Women event that I spoke at, last November. She came right up to me and said she’d been reading my blog and wanted to meet me. (Fellow bloggers know how thrilling that is!)

We talked for a while and she asked about my kids and how I was feeling. She said she’d been working with Go Red and the AHA for a while (she was the 2011 spokeswoman) and she was excited to volunteer together. Then I learned she’d had a heart transplant, and to me, with my two little tiny stents, she became truly amazing – here she was, happy, outgoing, friendly, interested in others, energetic. It was one of those moments when I realized how much time and energy I can waste feeling sorry for myself, sad, weak, or sick. If she can do it, so can I.

And this is before I learned about the Young Adult Heart Foundation. Her foundation.

Maria is 35 years old, lived five years in heart failure, has had a transplant, and when told not to work anymore, started this foundation to help others like herself through the fear, pain, and uncertainty of heart disease. If she can do that, we can take five minutes to watch this video and learn more about what they do and the people they help and maybe consider a donation. I promise you will be inspired.