{Go Red} A Chance at Motherhood is Why I Go Red 

Looking up at my children. The blue balloon is in honor of Lucia and the purple balloon is for Baby E. My babies they will always be

I am the mother of two babies. My babies do not walk this earth, instead they paint the colors of the sunrise. Lucia would be 7 years old and Baby E would have just turned one. I would have my hands full. My arms are not filled with children, instead they are filled with hope. When you are the mother of angles a part of your broken heart lies in heaven. It’s a hard job and it’s one you don’t get to choose, it chooses you instead. 

I didn’t choose to have a pulmonary embolism or a stroke, it chose me and I’ve never looked back. 6 months after it chose me I found out I was pregnant. Like really pregnant, whoops “I was pregnant and I didn’t know it.” I lovingly called the baby little bear. It was a boy, a boy who died quietly in my womb. He was safe, he was loved, he will always be my first. Lucia, my baby you will always be. 

After a baby dies you have this strong desire to get pregnant again. To rewrite history and prove to yourself that you can carry a baby to term. To prove that God found you worthy of motherhood. But what happens when you are told “it’s not wise for someone with your history to get pregnant……” You get angry, you cry, and then you slowly come to terms with it. You pray that science will catch up with you and that this cruel joke will be over and you will have your rainbow.

Five years after my stroke my rainbow came. Again doctors said “you will be high risk. We need to watch you closely, blah, blah, and blah.” We got excited, that excitement just like before dwindled when an empty sac appeared. Our baby, my rainbow was not meant to be mine. Baby E wasn’t meant to be ours. My rainbow slipped through my fingers and renewed my desire for motherhood. Baby E, my baby you will always be. 

Babies are always at the back of my mind. I have names picked out and plans laid out. Jay and I tried for a year with no luck. Who knew a rainbow was so hard to catch. So I started down the path of fertility screening. I am now on a first name basis with the ultrasound wand, needles, and x-ray machine. I am fertile like myrtle who lives down the lane, yet my body can’t get intune. They say the nuvaring is most likely to blame, but we will never know for sure. In the past I was told “fertility meds are not for you.” Which makes sense since it’s recommended that I never use birthcontrol again. Hello blood clot creating hormones! Until now……….Science! 

Science! Finally caught up with me. Medical research is a beautiful thing and now I can has a baby too! In October we tried a combo of Femera and Ovidrel with no luck. In February we are going to the next level, Femera and ovidrel with IUI. I can has an IUI too! Motherhood was a thing I could never touch, it eluded me and now I have her in my crosshairs. Because of medical research it’s within my reach.

My pregnancy (when it happens) will be different too. Back in the day doctors believed in large doses and starting lovenox early. Today we will still be starting as soon as I get a plus sign, but the dose will grow along with my pregnancy. We will start with a shit ton of monitoring and a small dose of lovenox until we build up to the higher dose when I am 7 months along (that’s if my body needs it). There is still a chance that our baby could be born lovenox dependent and that I could have a clot, but for me the risk is worth the reward. 

Because of research and medical technology I will be able to have a healthy pregnancy too. Not all survivors get a chance at motherhood. In a lot of cases the risk is far greater than the reward. My heart breaks for them. I know the ache they feel and I know what it’s like to look up and wonder “why me?” All it takes is one look at a baby bump to make you feel less than. The baby isle and shower invites are a reminder of your inability to have children. They are a reminder of what was taken from you. We did not choose this road, the road chose us and we have to walk it until our time runs out. 

I once belonged to that club, then I got lucky. Science and technology caught up with me. Because of research Femera was found to aide in ovulation by decreasing the estrogen levels without increasing progesterone. The Progesterone in the nuvaring is what caused my blood clot. The likelihood of a blood clot event on Femera is low and I don’t know about you but, I like low. I am a survivor, a survivor who is standing on the cusp of motherhood. 

In my heart I know that this time I will bring a baby home. Heaven has two pieces of my heart and it’s time for a third to live on this earth. One thing I am certain about is that the doctors will learn from my fertility treatments and pregnancy and that information will help other women like me bring home a healthy baby. That right there makes all of this worth it. 

I go Red for the survivors who will never get to be mothers. 

{Go Red} Hearts For Fashion Show

Every February Boston Scientific sponsors the Hearts for Fashion show as apart of the Go Red for Women expo at the Mall of America. The show allows survivors to strut their stuff down the Go Red for Women runway, all while putting a face to heart disease and stroke. Survivors are not the only ones strutting their stuff, the designs of local students who were inspired by heart health, survivors and the color red will also line the runway. This event allows the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign to educate the public about women’s heart health through fashion. What girl doesn’t love fashion, I know I do.

Last year I was invited to be apart of the Go Red for Women campaign which included posing for a billboard, gracing many bus stops around the metro, and being a part of a PSA commercial that was aired on channel 9 through out the month of February. I am not use to being in front of the camera, I am the quiet type that walks the capital halls, so it was a big change for me and I am glad that I did it.

This year I was invited to walk the runway in the Hearts for Fashion show. I have watched the show for many years and always thought it would be fun to be a model in the show. When the offer came I gladly accepted and waited for the day to arrive. My outfit was on loan from Macy’s Mall of America and Ginny did a great job at dressing me. I was a little bummed that I did not get to wear a red dress in the show, but its ok I got to rock a modern suit instead.


I had to be at MOA by 8AM for makeup and hair. Our makeup and hair was done by the Minnesota School of Cosmetology students. The girls did a really great job with my updo and makeup, they made me feel like me but better. With hair and makeup in the bag it was time to get dressed. Jay was in charge of collecting my parents and bringing them to MOA for the show. Jay was successful and soon they arrived and Jay’s eyes lit up when he saw me all done up. That’s how I knew the girls did good. A ton of photos were taken and soon we were released to go down and watch part of the show.

I didn’t practice my walk. Being in heels made me nervous, I just said a little prayer and hoped for the best. Lucky for me I didn’t trip!!! That is a miracle in itself and I took on that runway like I was made for it! Yay! Go Me! That is until I looked over and saw my Daddy and Jay plus my Mama all teary eyed. It took everything in me to hold it together, if I see tears I start to tear up, so it was a miracle that i didn’t start crying too. Now Sherri she was the only one holding it together like a boss. Survival is more than the survivor, without my parents and Sherri who knows where I would be, they have been with me since day one of survivor-hood.


Being in the fashion show was a lot of fun and I know Jay had a blast pulling all of the bobbi pins out of my hair. I think he pulled out close to 30 or so, it takes a lot of pins to tack my curly mop down.

{Go Red For Women} “I Lived” is why I Go Red 

“I Lived” is why I Go Red. Survivorhood is a beautiful disaster. There is no guidebook or follow the dots for survivorhood, each woman has to lay the bricks for her second chance. There are moments where I wish someone would hand me a guidebook and to show me “this is how you do it.” But then I think to myself, “on October 22, 2009 you were given a blank book and only you know how to write your second story.” 

 Make a difference. Amongst all of the fear and unknown I stopped to ask “how many other women has this happened too?” In one moment of disaster my passion was born. I wanted to make sure that no other woman endured my fate, I wanted to make a difference and raise awareness about the side affects of hormonal contraceptives. 

1 out of 3 women will die from heart disease and stroke. 1 out of 5 people will survive a pulmonary embolism. Those odds are not in our favor. So many women have no idea that their birth control puts them at a higher risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. When we look at these odds one most stop and ask “are they preventable?” The answer is simply, yes they are. 

Education starts with you and me, together we can help medical professionals learn the signs and symptoms of blood clots. They do not live in our bodies, we do and we know our hearts like no buddy else does. It still bothers me to this day, that it could have all been prevented. I could have skipped the pain and avoided the aftermath. That if my doctor had listened to my symptoms, she could have ordered the d-dimer test and the clot would have been stopped before it hit my lungs and eventually my brain. I have to live the rest of my life knowing that this didn’t have to happen. 

But it did. A beautiful disaster the ignited my passion and gave me purpose. I got a second chance to live this life. I am blessed, I am amazed, and sometimes I feel like I am living someone else’s dream. It’s mine, every pothole, pitstop, and curveball are mine. In the moments of disaster I found myself. I found the strength to continue dancing on the good days and laughing on the bad. I cherish each moment, for I know I am living on borrowed time. I’ve stolen almost seven years from the sandman and I pray that I will steal a few dozen more. 

From billboards, to bus stop posters, to PSAs and beyond. Six years ago I had no idea that my story would have so much value and impact on the people around me. State lobby days allow me to make a difference and national lobby days allow me to take a stand. With tears in my eyes I stood on the U.S. Capital Steps right next to Nancy Pelosi, giving a speech on the impact and importance of the Affordable Care Act. You’re the Cure has given me a platform to make a difference and for that I am forever grateful. 


Time. Be it given or borrowed I do not take it for granted. I survived the worst day possible. I lived. I’ve squished a lot of life into the past 6 years. I got a divorce, adopted a dog, found a job that I love, mostly amongst it all I found myself.  I became a mom, Lucia and baby E rest in God’s heavenly arms. I spent time with my father, wine tasting and thrift stores are our jam. My mama and I spent time in the dells, shopping and lunching. Those two, they are my rock. 

Our family grew, I watched my sister become a mom, Sophia and I are bonded for life. I got to paint Sophia’s toes and take her to her first movie, Charlie Brown of course. As I was letting go of Baby E, I again watched my sister welcome her second child. Jack doesn’t know it yet, but he is one lucky little dude, aunties like me are hard to come by. Sophia and Jack are spoiled, I treasure each moment and love them beyond measure. Their Auntie, I will always be. 

Love slowly seeped in. Fate brought me my best friend, my confidant, dinasour loving, dirty joke telling soulmate. In Jay I found home, in me he found the woman he will soon call his wife. We were so close to parenthood, but Baby E was never meant to be ours. Jay. and I have hope that our rainbow Is just around the corner. 

Who knows maybe if the stars align this time next year “motherhood” will be my why. I would love that “why” very much. 

But for now: “I Lived” is Why I Go Red


{Go Red for Women} #GoRedMN – Selfie time!!!

I have some totally awesome news to share!!!! 

We all know you love taking a good selfie and you love to share that awesome selfie on social media. We all love to share and now our sharing will earn funds for a very important cause. 

From February 5 – 14, 2016 The St. Jude Medical Foundation will donate $10 per selfie up to $25,000.00 for every selfie posted on social media  with the hashtag #GoRedMN. How stinking cool is that!? Breakout your selfie stick, practice that duck face, strike a pretty pose, get your friends involved, heck take one with your dog and go red for the women in your life. 

Remember to use the hashtag #GoRedMN, if you don’t it won’t count and I will be sad. Be a superstar and use one of those fancy apps to link your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter together. That way you only have to create one post and you share it on all of your platforms! 

A huge shoutout and thank you to the St. Jude Medical Foundation for their commitment to women’s heart health! ♥️ 

{Go Red For Women} I can have bad days too!? 

  There is no perfect survival story and there is no guidebook called “how to live your second chance.” Life is messy, it’s a beautiful disaster. Some survivors chose to curl up in a ball and wish the world away. Others are filled with anger and they become bitter with age. Some simply give up before they give them selves a chance to rise. Then there are the ones like me, a special breed who doesn’t deal with the mental/ emotional aspect of what happened, yet they want to change the world. 

When you survive the doctors do a really good job at taking care of your body. Your mind and soul are left with you to repair, as they do not have time for that. They simply cannot mend what they cannot see. 

Trauma leaves scars behind. Pulmonary Embolisims and Strokes take pieces of your soul and if you survive they leave you with survivors guilt. I’ve spent more days than I can count wondering why me and why not her? Why am I allowed to take a seat at the table while so many women are asked to leave? Fate she amazes me, maybe she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. Maybe she knew that I would grow in a moment of darkness. 

I never looked at my PE and stroke as a tramatic event, for me it was a horrible event that I wanted to stuff in my pocket. I wanted to get back to normal as soon as possible, it never crossed my mind that I needed to deal with the mental and emotional side of survivorhood. In my eyes I was doing a really good job at running from my emotions and memories. My back pocket held my PE, the Stroke, Lucia, Divorce, and Charlie. As long as they stayed in my back pocket I was safe. I believed whole heartedly in the old adage “out of sight, out of mind.” 

A soul can only carry so much disaster before its seems break. My seems burst long ago, I was living on patches, throwing myself into my work and crying my tears into the muppet like dogs fur. When I turned 32, I knew something had to give, I thought “therapy is only for the crazies and for those who can’t get their fucking little ducks in a row.” My ducks were lined up in size order, my exterior was iron clad, and crazy, ha I probably am but hey that’s ok who isn’t a little off these days.

Research, I checked the health partners sight to see what my plan covered,Watercourse is where I landed. Turns out they were right around the corner from my apartment, I had driven by their office for years. I slowly dialed there number, a nice lady answered, she asked if I had a couple minutes, I said yes. I unfolded the items hidden in my back pocket, she repeatedly said “you poor thing,” and promised to match me with a therapist. I was sceptical and hesitant, a few days later they called, her name was Emily. My first appointment was scheduled. I was ashamed to tell my friends “hey I’m gonna go see a therapist so I can learn how to deal with my shit.” 

Walking into Watercourse I was in denial and skeptical about therapy. Mostly I was afraid she would tell me “you are insane, here is the name of a psychiatrist.” No one wants to be told they are crazy. Emily didn’t tell me I was crazy, instead she asked me question after question and with each answer the items in my back pocket unfolded into the room. She started to build a picture of my past and my survival mechanism “put it in a box and deal with it another day.” 

Bottling up emotions is not the answer. Eventually the top is going to fly off and you will end up in a puddle of tears on your appartment floor. Trust me I know about this kind of thing. Emily understood the road I was walking on and through guided conversation we traced each step. We discussed how I don’t always have to be perfect, she told me “it’s ok for you to have bad days too.” Emily was the first person in 6 years to tell me that it is ok to have bad days or off days or any kind of day I want. Everyone else acted like I shouldn’t complain or have a bad day, instead I should be grateful that I am alive. 

I am grateful to be alive, I know that a few minutes could have given me a different ending. I am a stubborn survivor, help is something I rarely ask for. In my mind asking for help is a weakness and shows your flaws. Emily made me realize that we all need a little help and that people want to be needed. I am so used to being the helper that I put my own needs aside. I do everything on my own, including driving myself to the ER, because I don’t want to inconvenience anyone or ruin their day. Which I wouldn’t recommend you do, ask for help, don’t be like me. Then again I have turned a new leaf and have learned its ok to ask for help. Jay can attest to this as he has taken me to the ER about 3 times now and carries heavy things for me. I am still not great at it, but I am learning that it’s ok to not always be the helper. 

I’ve been seeing Emily for over a year now and she has helped me immensely. Not only have we delt with survivorhood but we delt with Lucia too. Everyone says “oh you will have more children,” without knowing those words cut through me like a knife. A grieving mother doesn’t want those words, she wants her children. When a plus sign showed up in May I was terrified and did not want to get to attached to the contents of my uterus. She let me know that these feelings were perfectly ok and that with time they will fade. That I didn’t have to be afraid of an ultrasound machine and that I have a right to demand that we handle this pregnancy my way. 

That + sign slowly turned into an empty sac, I was crushed. I felt defeated that my rainbow eluded me. Emily helped me deal with my emotions and fears when it was determined that a D&C was the best course of action. Without her help I probably would never have gone through with it. We talked about the procedure and that it was ok for me to speak up if I didn’t like something or if something felt off, after all it is my uterus. I did my research and found a doctor who understood what I had gone through and he promised he would take every precaution he could to protect my uterus. He did just that and he said “I have no doubt that you will carry a baby.” Those are the only words I needed to hear, that I can have babies too.

A perfect storm, the past 6 almost 7 years has been waves of disaster. Between each wave I found calm and enjoyed the beauty in the silence before the next one came crashing down on me. I was sailing in a beautiful disaster. My boat on the outside her haul was perfect, but on the inside my engine was slowing burning out. Therapy helped me really examin each wave, to realize that there was nothing I could have done to avoid them and we cannot simply see in to the future. If I did manage to avoid each wave my life would be drastically different and I wouldn’t be me. 

The biggest lesson I learned is this: it’s ok to seek out a therapist. Sometimes one goes through so much that she needs another soul to help her deal with it. I had no idea where this therapy journey would take me, I just went in with a semi closed mind and came out stronger than ever. The doctors they fixed my heart and lungs, but Emily she mended the one thing they couldn’t fix, she mended my soul. 

We are all in this together. 

Mental health is often overlooked when it comes to heart and stroke patients. So many doctors only concentrate on the physical and leave their patients to struggle through the why mes, the what ifs, and other questions that plague survivorhood. The thing is we do not have to go it alone talk to your doctor, let then know about your struggles. Because one’s mental health plays a huge part in their  recovery. If your mind is not in the game, then your heart surely won’t follow. 

To learn more about  Watercourse please visit: Watercourse Counseling 

{Go Red For Women} A Thriving Survivor #IsWhy

I have no problem walking into the capital building and speaking to legislators. Send me to D.C. and I will spread the message to congress that research is the key to a healthy tomorrow. Speaking to strangers, is no big deal. I love talking to folks about heart healthy policies and the importance of medical research. Using my voice to change your tomorrow makes me ok with the fact that I cannot undo the past. It allows me to be ok with having a stroke and a pulmonary embolism. Mostly using my voice has allowed me to heal and come into my own as a survivor.


Every year at the Go Red Luncheon they hold a casting call to find the Spokeswoman for next years campaign. I sat down in front of the green screen just for fun and never thought in a million years that they would pick me. Pick me to be a part of the 2014-2015 Go Red for Women campaign. I got the email in early June and I was excited, nervous but very excited. I almost talked myself out of the opportunity. The email came on the heels of my neck surgery and I was still out of sorts. I wasn’t going to let a swollen neck and illness stand in my way of making a difference. With the support of my family and friends, I said yes and hit send.


At the photo shoot I got to meet an amazing group of ladies. We went around the room introducing ourselves and sharing our stories. All of us have been touched by heart disease and stroke. Most were survivors and others lost a love one to heart disease. In that moment I didn’t feel like an oddity, in this room I belonged and they understood my heart healthy journey. In this room Life was Why. All of us faced uncertainty and the cards they were stacked against us, but we chose to thrive.

go red

Thriving means sharing your story and educating the women around us. In away we are pioneers, we went through the worst day possible, picked up and moved on. On to tell an amazing tale that leaves you questioning your own heart health. I was 26 years old, just 5 days shy of my 27th birthday when I had a massive pulmonary embolism with infarction and a stroke. My only risk factor was that I was taking a hormonal contraceptive. Until that moment I had no idea that the Nuva Ring or any birth control for that matter could almost take my life. To me birth control was harmless and it never crossed my mind that it could be deadly. Birth control increases a women’s risk for blood clots and stroke. This, this fact is the very reason I chose to share my story. I do not want another woman to endure my fate, knowledge is power and being your own healthcare advocate is the key to survival.

Bus stop

“A Second Chance Is Why, I Go RED”

We have all had that moment where we wished we could have a second chance to make things right, to live a little more, and to love with all of our hearts. I do not have to wish, because I am living my second chance. Five borrowed years and counting. I almost died 5 days before my 27th birthday, I got the greatest gift that year, I got the gift of life. A second chance to make my mark on this world. A second chance that allowed me to carry a child. My son’s feet never touched the ground yet he made one hell of an impact as wings were placed on his shoulders. Divorce, no one said second chances were perfect. I filed eight months after my stroke and I moved out on independence day.

I got a second chance to fall in love with myself and to come into my own as a young stroke survivor. I rented my very first apartment, adopted a dog, changed jobs, and started dating. In order for me to find love I had to heal my surviving heart. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was broken, that I would never be able to have a child of my own, and that I wasn’t always going to be there cup of tea. It takes a special type of man to love a woman with a surviving heart. Charlie, was my shooting star. He would always tell me “babe I am so glad I get to be your second chance love.” Fate stepped in and took him out before I got to say I do. My surviving heart broke the day he died.

Yet I persevered and continued my mission of educating women about the dangerous side effects of hormonal contraceptives and propelling heart healthy policies forward. I held my niece in my arms and promised her that she will grow up in a healthier tomorrow. I buried myself in my work and watched the world melt around me. Only to realize that I wasn’t living every moment of my second chance to the fullest. With time my heart healed and I dusted off my dating shoes. Fate, she likes to mess with me and love it eluded me. That is until one snowy November day it walked right up to me and as they say the rest is history. Finally! My second chance at this thing we call life is shaping up to be a beautiful disaster and I could not be happier.

It’s not just a man’s disease. Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, yet it’s 80% preventable.

{Go Red} The Story of A Woman’s Heart Is Why

IMG_6414-1When people find out that I had a stroke, they look at me like I have an infinite amount of wisdom. Wisdom,
Ha I am only 32 years wise and there are things I will never begin to understand. I, I am just a small town girl who had a stroke and some how I get to do big things.

If you would have told me five years ago that I would get to participate in a photo shoot and a PSA commercial to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women. I would of probably giggled and said “you’re nuts!” But here I am, it’s been five years and I am thriving. Brave doesn’t describe it, I am baring my soul for the public good. I am putting a face to a horrible experience.

Yet on the same coin, I am raising awareness that strokes can and do happen to perfectly healthy young women. That birth control has and does cause serious life altering side effects. I am raising awareness that, before the affordable care act, young women like me couldn’t afford health insurance. We put off going to the doctor because it was expensive. Now I truly can put my health and mostly my heart first.

I love with all of my surviving heart and I do not back down from challenges. Because I, I survived the worst day possible. I am more than a stroke, I am more than the collateral damage Merck accounted for, I am more than a survivor, I am a woman with a vibrant heart. I am first and for most a mother to my son in heaven and a mama to a Muppet like dog. I am an Aunt, a Daughter, a Sister, a Friend, and a Girlfriend. I am many things and I play many roles, yet survivor is one that I will never give up.

I am proof that every horrible situation has a silver lining. Six months after my Stroke I found out I was pregnant with my son. My heart was full and I felt vindicated. That somehow God still believed in me and that good still existed in this world. Even thou Lucia never took a breath, he is my greatest joy. He is the reason I do what I do and I want him to be proud of his Mama on earth.

My P.E./Stroke and death of my son were not the end of my horrible bad days. They were just the beginning and those moments of utter disaster gave me the strength I needed to put myself first and walk out of a loveless marriage. Eight months after I had my pulmonary embolism and stroke I filed for divorce. Surviving taught me to listen to my heart and to put myself first. A woman’s heart will never steer her wrong.

It’s been almost five years since my divorce was finalized and I have never looked back. I had to come into my own and figure out who I was. Surviving is only half the battle. One cannot simply just survive, they need to thrive. Once you start to thrive, you start living again. I rented my very first apartment, adopted a dog, changed jobs, found myself, and started dating. I’ve had my moments where I swore to myself that I would be single forever, only to be swept of my feet. Love it eluded me, but I finally caught it with my butter fly net! Its an amazing feeling to be in love with a man who loves every inch of my surviving heart!

I own everything that has happened to me. This is the story of my heart and I would not trade it for anything in this world. It’s mine, I have loved every moment of this beautiful disaster that I call “my life.”

But mostly, I have spent the past five years encouraging women to be their best health care advocate. Encouraging women to be brave, to go against the grain, and mostly to fight for themselves. The moment we give up and give in, is the moment we lose hope. No woman deserves to fight alone, all of us are in this together until the bitter end.

{Hearts on 22} Why I Go RED

Left: 2009 /  Right 2013  Looking back and celebrating 4 years of Survival

Left: 2009 / Right 2013 Looking back and celebrating 4 years of Survival

On October 14, 2009 I had my annual check up and birth control renewal appointment. My Doctor asked me if I had any concerns. I said yes. “Yes I do, I have this incredible pain in my leg and it won’t go away. My leg is deep red in spots and I am having head aches.” The doctor said and I quote “oh you just need to exercise and drink more water. You will be fine.”

October 22, 2009, 7:00am I was driving through rush hour traffic when my chest started hurting. At first it was just annoying and I thought “oh I will just take some Tylenol when I get to work. It’s nothing.” The pain kept on getting worse and worse, my heart started racing, at this point I could barely breath. Again I though “I will make it to work, take Tylenol and I will be fine.” I kept on driving. My situation wasn’t improving, my arms were starting to feel numb, I was becoming light headed. I thought to my self “should I call my mom. No, don’t do that she will panic. Should I pull over and dial 911? No, don’t do that you don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road. Oh look Lexington parkway. Take the exit.”

I did take that exit and somehow by the grace of God I drove myself to the hospital in Woodbury. The last thing I remember is seeing the security guard hold out his arm and I collapsed. I woke up to a nurse telling me “I can either cut your clothes off or you can help me take them off.” The staff had all ready hooked me up to monitors and an EKG machine.

The doctor came in and said “well we know you are not having a heart attack but something is wrong. I think you might have an infection in your lung. Well take an X-ray and get you some meds and you will be out of here in no time.” Ok I said. Then he stopped turned around and said “are you on birth control.” Yes I said. He ordered more tests.

My heart had been in sinus tachycardia for over an hour, my oxygen level was below 40 and I was fading fast. The D-dime test came back positive and a CT scan was done. A blood clot the size of a 10 cent gum ball was blocking the main valve to my heart and my body was being starved of oxygen. Within minutes of this discovery, I had a stroke.

The ER staff was kicked into high gear and the life saving efforts began. Clot busters were injected, they gave me the highest possible dose of Heprin, and my life was saved.

But what gets me is this “this all could have been prevented if my OBGYN had truly listened to me, she could have ordered the d-dime test and the clot would have been found and it would never have traveled to my lungs.” I almost died 5 days before my 27th birthday. I got the best gift in 2009 and that was my life.

So please listen to your heart and mostly your gut. If something doesn’t feel right keep on pushing until you find the one doctor who will listen to you. Don’t end up like me, I learned the hard way. Now I never take a doctors word at face value and I ask questions.

One moment changed everything, I was robbed of my youth and now I am going RED because no woman deserves to fight alone.