I was surprised at how much American Heart Month meant to me. Maybe because having a disease is, at its core, a very lonely thing. No matter how much others care, no one really knows what it feels like — or how it makes you feel — to just be.

So I set out to connect as much as possible. To not be lonely, or sad, or scared, or depressed. But to be active, engaged, positive, and happy instead. It worked, and I was.

I shared my story a few places, like guest blogging for friends and colleagues, writing an article for the Minnesota Women’s Press, and speaking at the United Hospital Foundation’s annual “Celebrating the Hearts of Women” event. I went to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Casting Call (an on-camera interview that they use to choose annual spokeswomen; I will find out if I made the cut in May) and my yoga instructor and I set up a Go Red class session where I shared my story and information on women and heart disease. Today, on the last day of the month, I volunteered with the AHA-Minnesota at Whole Foods, which is donating 5 percent of that day’s sales to the fight against heart disease.

This blog featured guest posts by my friend/best-running-coach-ever Breanne about how to get moving, and my husband shared his story. I’m thinking of turning over my blog to him; his post has the second-highest views of all time!

Last weekend, I had a red wine-themed party and celebrated life, fun, and wine (though some also celebrated beer). But my favorite part of the month was receiving all the photos of friends and family and readers wearing red on February 3; never have I felt less lonely while being all alone.

So, yeah, Heart Month is a big deal to me. Thank you for all you did to make it great!


  1. Jen,

    I came across your blog the other day and was immediately interested since I am also a young mother with heart disease. I, however, have congenital heart disease, so physically with are different, but emotionally so much of what you write resonates with me.

    For example, your second sentence of this post, “No matter how much others care, no one really knows what it feels like — or how it makes you feel — to just be,” is just so perfectly put. I totally understand what you are saying, and even though I don’t know exactly how it feels to be you nor you me, I’m glad to hear someone else feels that way about her heart disease.

    I just started a blog about being a mom with heart disease, and your blog is definitely inspirational to me.

    • Thank you for your comment and for finding me. It is always very inspiring to meet fellow heart sisters through sharing our experiences and love of writing. I checked out When Mommy Met Rosie and it is just beautiful. I can’t wait to read more.
      Take care!


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