BENEFITING: JOHN RITTER FOUNDATION FOR AORTIC HEALTH
ORGANIZER: JOHN RITTER FOUNDATION FOR AORTIC HEALTH
February 5, 2018 will mark 5 years since my husband Bruce passed away from an undetected aortic dissection. On November 5, 2017 I will be running the New York marathon in his memory and to help raise funds and awareness of aortic health.
It is hard to believe that it will be 5 years … while I know some have suffered losses as well, for others the time has been marked with joyous occasions, celebrating births of children or grandchildren, marriages or other milestones in their lives. For me it has been 4+ years of learning how to live again without someone who you truly loved.
Bruce was 61 years old when he died; he had recently talked of retiring from part of his business so he could finish his own projects and fulfill some of his dreams of renovating his family farm and doing some of the things that had just been put on hold for too long. That record can replay in your mind forever ….
You can read the original story I wrote back in 2013 here. Bruce died of an undetected aortic dissection. I believe if there had been more awareness of aortic dissections he may have lived. I continue to tell his story whenever I can. I have met survivors that had gotten a second opinion and thankfully were properly diagnosed and treated. I’ve met wonderful individuals on Team Ritter that all have a story and have been affected one way or another by aortic health – the largest vessel in our bodies that just doesn’t seem to get enough attention!
I read somewhere that out of tragedy comes hope, new awareness and even greatness. I believe that is true, as I have been blessed with meeting some incredible people through church, Team Ritter, and other activities. I believe that I can be a voice for Bruce and continue to help raise awareness.
Our daughter, Micaela created a shirt back in 2013 in her father’s memory and to help me raise funds – “Strong Hearts.” She chose “Strong Hearts” as it all begins with the heart and the aortic is the vessel that carries the blood to our bodies; she was kind enough to think of me and other family members who had suffered some type of heart issue. The “Strong Hearts” has grown to other products and she also tells the story to help build awareness.
I hope you will consider helping me in this effort and sponsor me in support of the John Ritter Foundation. Thank you so much!
JOHN RITTER FOUNDATION FOR AORTIC HEALTH wrote -
The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) is proud to be an official charity of the TCS NYC Marathon to take place on Sunday, November 5, 2017. This is an amazing opportunity to increase awareness of thoracic aortic disease, as well as raise funds to support education and research. We are so honored to have been chosen.
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.
“The funds raised by Team Ritter will allow us to continue our genetic research to identify genes or altered DNA that increases an individual’s risk for an acute aortic dissection. By identifying who is at risk, we can prevent the premature deaths due to aortic dissections,” said Dianna Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D., director of UTHealth’s John Ritter Research Program. “It will also help us spread information to both physicians and the public about symptoms and genetic risk factors for aortic dissections, including the fact that this condition can run in families.” Milewicz is also professor and George H. W. Bush Chair in Cardiovascular Research in the Division of Medical Genetics at the UTHealth Medical School.
Individuals interested in joining Team Ritter to run the marathon, help us increase awareness of aortic disease, and fundraise are encouraged to submit an application here.
Questions? Please send an email to info@JohnRitterFoundation.org.