Last fall, Macy’s began searching for associates in the New York area who had been impacted by heart disease, either personally or through someone close to them. Five women were chosen to share their connection to the cause and serve as the face of Macy’s annual Go Red for Women campaign in national and store marketing across the country.
Sobhadra, Odilia, Jillian, Bari and Natasha were chosen to be the heart of this year’s Go Red For Women campaign. This video will introduce you to them and their stories, then read on to find out more about how they changed their lives.
Store Associate, Macy’s Commack Shopping Center
“My heart story started about 18 years ago when I was a new grandmother. My first symptoms were feeling tired and a little breathless, which led to my first visit to a cardiologist. After many tests, I was informed that I had a leaky heart valve. My doctor and I worked closely together to take care of my heart, and he said we would know when the time was right to fix the valve.
“In February 2015, I woke up very short of breath. Tests showed the valve was getting worse and it was time for valve replacement surgery. The day after my surgery, I was in the open heart critical care unit, and my doctor told me he was able to repair the valve rather than replace it. After eight months of cardiac rehab, I was able to return to work before Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for the new lease on life my doctors and nurses have given to me. Thanks to them, I was able to see my granddaughter graduate and help her set up her college dorm room.”
Senior Manager – Macy’s Social Compliance
“As a toddler, I was always weak, pale and low in energy. My mother took me to all kinds of doctors, but none could figure out what was wrong with me. Soon after, my father died in a motorcycle accident, and my mother – then a single parent with major financial struggles – continued to take me to various doctors until it was discovered I was born with a heart murmur.
“While some people can live with this condition, I needed surgery or the disease could have been fatal. But even with the surgery, my chance of surviving was just 50 percent. My mother was courageous and decided we should go for it. I was one of nine people undergoing that procedure that week, and only four of us survived. Today, I am happy and healthy, I have a healthy heart and I can live a normal life.”
Omni Merchandise Assistant – Men’s Active
“Heart disease runs in my family, and we found that out the hard way. Both of my grandparents on my dad’s side passed away at the young ages of 56 and 58 due to heart disease. When my dad turned 56, he was happy. When he turned 58, he was thrilled. Just one month later, he decided to go for a cardiac catheterization because he was falling asleep all the time and having chest pains. The doctor told my family they found 90 percent blockage on both sides of his heart and that he needed emergency triple – or possibly quadruple – bypass surgery. On the way to the hospital for the surgery, my dad started having a massive heart attack. Six hours later, he came out of quintuple bypass surgery.
“Now, after about five months, he is back at work as a nurse, taking care of other people. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself and go to the doctor regularly, especially if something as scary as heart disease is genetic. Many people who are affected by heart disease don’t get the second chance my father was given.”
SPACE Construction Lease Coordinator II, Macy’s Corporate Services
“My grandma passed away from heart disease when I was in my senior year of high school. She was the most important person to me. Even after all of these years, I still tear up when I think about her, wishing she was here to experience all of my milestones with me.
“Growing up, I watched my grandmother suffer with high blood pressure which later became heart disease. During the summer, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. When the doctor told me, I broke down crying in her office – all I could think about was the years my grandmother struggled with her health. But with an early diagnosis, I am equipped to make better health choices and prevent this from resulting in heart disease.”
Creative Planning Manager – Center Core, Visual Merchandising
“My father passed away from a heart attack at the age of 42. My mother remarried, and my stepfather passed away from a heart attack at the age of 56. My grandmother has had two heart attacks, but she is amazing and still is going strong at 89 years of age! She will be 90 this coming March.”
Macy’s is the national founding sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. Learn how you can participate in this year’s Go Red For Women campaign.