“It’s the kind of torture that no one should have to endure — ever. It is now a part of my life.”
And it’s not only the pain of the process that causes Buckley worry.
“My whole life is ruled by having heath insurance, keeping health insurance,” she said. “If I lose any of that I can’t go to the hospital anymore.”
Buckley wants people to take away something from her story and remember it always.
“I would recommend that people would take care of the heart they have.”
The American Heart Associated started the Go Red for Women movement in 2004.
Those who work to make the event possible have a personal mission to spread awareness of the No. 1 killer of women.
Each year, the event meets its goal of raising $45,000 for cardiovascular disease research, said Keri Mack, regional director of the American Heart Association.
The cause has been a personal one to Mack for most of her life. Mack’s mother died of a stroke when she was 18 months old and her father and all four of her grandparents died of cardiovascular disease.
“My entire immediate family/support system was gone by the time I was 40,” Mack said. “It’s really important to me that people listen and take care of their families.”
Over a year of preparations for the dinner, heart disease has gotten closer to Lee Ann Pray, chairwoman of the Go Red for Women dinner and Heart Healthy Seminar.
“Interestingly enough, when I started this campaign I had no personal connection (to heart disease) and over the course of the year, my personal risk factor has gone from almost non-existent to very prevalent,” Pray said.
This year, Pray made a New Year’s resolution to “do better tomorrow that I did today.”
She encouraged the audience to take care of their family and friends.