Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Start! Heart Walk

I set a goal of running a 5k sometime in the next year or so, but I’m planning to walk one on October 2 (less than 11 weeks post-transplant!). I have been having trouble with my left foot since I picked up my walking regimen and saw an orthopedist on Monday (because hey, why not see one more doctor?). He said I have a bone bruise and advised that I avoid high-impact exercise like walking, but I’m hoping to be better in a few more weeks. If not, there is a turn-off where walkers can opt to do a mile instead of the full 5k. For now, I’m planning to walk the full 5k. I think I can, I think I can…

Anyway, the event is the Start! Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association (AHA). The mission of the AHA is “building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” An important part of this mission is spreading awareness of the prevalence of heart disease, promoting familiarity with symptoms and educating health care providers about best practices.

In October 2009, I was misdiagnosed by doctors at an urgent care center and later at the ER, which could have easily led to my death. It’s critical that we know the symptoms of various types of heart disease so we can advocate for our own health. Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans (and the #1 killer of women over 25)?

I set a personal goal to raise $500 for heart disease and stroke research and education, which I have already surpassed thanks to your generous contributions! My new goal is to reach $1000 by the end of September. Thank you to those who have already contributed – to the rest of you, please help me reach my new goal and further the fight against heart disease! Also, if you are interested in walking with me (in Bridgewater, NJ), please let me know – the more the merrier!

You can help by making a donation online or by sending a check to me. A donation of any size is greatly appreciated and will help me achieve my goal. Click HERE to visit my personal donation page where you can make a secure online credit card donation. The American Heart Association's online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25, but please feel free to make a smaller donation by sending a check directly to me. Your donation will make a difference in the fight against our nation's #1 and #3 killers - heart disease and stroke. Thank you for your support.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a status update. Things are good here. Besides the occasional bad day and some lingering side effects like insomnia and a sore chest, I am trending toward normal. Apparently, six months is the magic timeframe after which I will consistently feel normal, so I’m looking forward to that. Today marks my six-week anniversary, and I celebrated with an excitement-free biopsy experience this morning, which is just how we like them. This was my last weekly biopsy, which is a huge relief for my poor neck! I will now have them every other week for six weeks, then they will spread out even more. Wahoo. I’ll find out my rejection score tomorrow or Friday – I have fortunately had no rejection the last two weeks.

About the American Heart Association:“The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the Nation's No.1 and No.3 killers, claim more than 865,000 American lives a year. Thanks to all our walkers, donors and volunteers who have accepted the challenge to help fight heart disease and stroke. We cannot achieve our mission without each one of you!”


  1. Happy Anniversary, Andrea! Can't wait for the walk. I too think you can and if not, we'll crush the one-mile route!
    XOXO, Marion

  2. You GO Girl! On to the Transplant Games.

  3. You are simply amazing! Quite an inspiration!

  4. I will be on my honeymoon when you are crossing that finish line, but you bet your bottom dollar I'll be thinking of you every step. Oh, and I am DEFINITELY doing that 5k with you next year. It will be awesome! :) xoxo
    Congratulations on your six week mark!

  5. I was fortunate enough to receive a heart and kidney transplant last February at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. I have read your posts, and I find many similarities, and a few differences in our experiences. Certainly I have a few extra wrinkles due to my new kidney.

    But in any case, I think your story is very interesting, particularly the TV Lady. What a crack-up. Was she a volunteer or paid staff? I have never seen that in any CA hospital I have "visited" in the last six or seven years. In fact in my illustrious career I worked with and in many hospitals here in Northern and Central CA and never saw anything like that.

    Anyhow, I would like to put a link to your blog on mine, if you would be so gracious to allow that. If you are curious and can handle a bit of extreme silliness, my blog is at is sometimes a wee bit gross, but not too bad.

    Enough babbling already. Take good care of yourself, and of course I am certain you know how incredible this gift that we received is.

    Bob Moss

  6. I just found out about the walk this week and will be doing it the same day in the Bay Area, good luck to you also. It is about 10 months out for me! I am hoping to raise about $100 because this is my first fundraiser EVER and I only have 2 weeks to fundraise. That is amazing you raised $500 and are still going-thank you for your hard work! And good job on the blog!

  7. I'm just catching up on your posts. I couldn't find the link for a while. I'll be in San Fran for AAP that weekend but I'll go online and donate now