Rachel Gainer's picture

Ella Has Heart—Do You?

 

February is National Heart Month—as in, the human heart—and we’re celebrating with three days of heartfelt stories and projects leading up to National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 3. This is a day for women nationwide to band together in raising awareness about heart disease and making personal commitments to improve their own heart health.

 

The term “heart disease” describes a wide range of heart-related illnesses, including those that lead to cardiac arrest. Heart disease is our nation’s no. 1 killer, causing 40.6% of all deaths—nearly 2,200 Americans each day.*

 

Most of us know at least one person affected by heart disease, and some of us are fighting our own battles. I invited Ella friends coast-to-coast to share personal stories about heart disease and other heart-related illnesses. Their poignant layouts reminded me of my own reason for taking up the cause.

 

One year ago, my husband and I adopted Daphne, a baby girl with half a heart. She lived just 58 days, passing away shortly after her second heart surgery. The causes of congenital heart defects are unclear, so it’s impossible to know whether Daphne’s condition could have been avoided. But most types of adult-onset heart disease are preventable, and my time with Daphne taught me to cherish and fight for more time with those we love. We must start by taking care of our own hearts; then we must ask our loved ones to do the same.

 

I hope these layouts will inspire you to join the fight against heart disease. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and tomorrow I’ll show you how to get started. If you or someone you love has been affected by heart disease, please share your story in the comments. And if you’ve created a layout, don't forget to include a link.

 

Layout by Rachel Gainer [click for larger view]

 

Layout by Katrina Kennedy [click for larger view]

 

Layout by Audrey Neal [click for larger view]

 

Layout by Kelly VanDerMolen [click for larger view]

 

* Statistics provided by the American Heart Association (AHA). To learn more about heart disease, risk factors, and prevention, visit the AHA at heart.org.

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