November 13, 2016
BENEFITING: JOHN RITTER FOUNDATION FOR AORTIC HEALTH
ORGANIZER: JOHN RITTER FOUNDATION FOR AORTIC HEALTH
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2016
Why should you donate? Because together we can prevent premature death.
On December 18, 2013, I lost my sister Dee to an aortic dissection. It was sudden. It was tragic. It was a very confusing and helpless time. I had never heard of this before. I'm close with both of my sisters but Dee and I shared a bedroom as kids. We did a lot together. She probably influenced my love of 80's hair metal. She was one of the strongest people I know. We were born and raised in Staten Island, NY. She was a 2 time survivor of the World Trade Center attacks, the bombing in 1993 and 9/11. After our parents moved to Las Vegas, I followed shortly after. After 9/11, Dee decided to start a new chapter in her life and moved to Las Vegas to be with us. It wasn't easy to start over for her. She had a lot of struggles but finally she was at a point in her life where she was happy.
Her dissection happened so suddenly. We just saw each other for Sunday dinner at our parents house. She was a smoker and had some struggles with high blood pressure but we thought it was under control. We'll never know. Aortic dissections mimic a heart attack and so she was not treated for a dissection quick enough. Chances of survival decrease with each passing hour. It was unbelievable to be watching her and just waiting, knowing there was nothing else that could be done.
From that moment on, I swore to live my life to honor her. In my research of aortic dissection, I found the John Ritter Foundation. They have been an amazing source of education for me. I need to help them continue their education and research. I enjoy running and have completed numerous half marathons. I wanted to run a full marathon at least once. As a native New Yorker, I decided to run the TCS NYC Marathon as part of Team Ritter in memory of Dee to raise money for this important charity.
This is an amazing opportunity to increase awareness of thoracic aortic disease, as well as raise funds to support education and research.
Funds from the marathon will benefit the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections.
So why donate? Maybe you loved Dee? Maybe you love me? Maybe aortic disease has touched your life in some way? Maybe you have a sibling you can't imagine living without? Maybe someone has done something special for you and you need to pay it forward? Whatever the reason is please donate today. Doing good feels good.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I love you my sista.
"Don't stop believin"