FH Awareness Day 2019 - Miami Event

Family Heart Foundation and Miami Florida Community Highlights Familial Hypercholesterolemia Awareness Day to Reduce Premature Heart Disease

Florida State Governor and Miami Dade County Issued Proclamations in Recognition of September 24 as FH Awareness Day

MIAMI (September 26, 2019) – More than 100 VIPS gathered to acknowledge Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) day on September 24th at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort for a panel discussion co-hosted together with April Irene Donelson and the Family Heart Foundation – with honor given Ryan Patrick Carrigan, who passed away from undiagnosed FH, in June 2018. FH is the most common cause of early heart attacks and premature coronary heart disease, impacting people of every race and ethnicity. More than 34 million people worldwide and 1.3 million in the United States have FH, and yet 90% remain undiagnosed.

Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and panel discussion with leading cardiologist Dr. Seth J. Baum, MD and Katherine Wilemon, Founder of the Family Heart Foundation.

Christine Del Portillo (FL Senator Rick Scott’s Office – South Florida District Director) presented a proclamation on behalf of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declaring Sept. 24th FH Day, in addition to the letter prepared by FL Senator Rick Scott commemorating the day, found in the program handbooks.

In addition, September 24th 2019 was declared a Day of Remembrance of Ryan Patrick Carrigan with a proclamation by Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami-Dade County Mayor, Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson and Members of the Board of County Commissioners, including County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. and County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman on behalf of Miami-Dade County. 

Alessa Torres, (Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo) presented both the proclamation from the Miami-Dade County for FH Awareness Day and also the Day of Remembrance of Ryan Patrick Carrigan. Rey Lester, on behalf of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, also addressed attendees.

“People with familial hypercholesterolemia are in jeopardy of heart attacks and strokes early in life,” said Katherine Wilemon, founder and CEO of the Family Heart Foundation.  “FH is passed down through families, leaving entire generations at increased risk. By increasing awareness of FH, more people will receive the early diagnosis and treatment necessary to prevent early death.” 


FH is a genetic disorder characterized by high cholesterol levels, specifically very high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, "bad cholesterol"), in the blood and causing early cardiovascular disease. It is the most common, life threatening genetic condition in the world, affecting 1/250 – with just 10% diagnosed. It is 100% manageable. Those with FH are immune to controlling their high LDL cholesterol levels with diet and exercise, and require more advanced treatments. The condition runs in families, with a parent having FH – having a 50/50 chance of passing it along to their child.


Guests in attendance included Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Miami Adriana De Moura, Fitness Celebrity Jennifer Nicole Lee, Miami Philanthropist Angela Birdman, Haute Media Group Co-Founder Seth Semilof, Claudine Smurfit, Radmilla Lolly, Nadia French, Lynn Levy, and Elizabeth Nickerson with the American Heart Association South Florida.

The event was sponsored by Haute MD, Land Rover North Dade, PTS diagnostics, FH Family Partners and Get More Productions. Drinks were provided by Tu-be Global Spirits and floral arrangements by Sandy Silvera. Additionally, auction items included a stay in the St. Regis Bal Harbour Ocean Suite, a custom $3,500 purse from Yara Bashoor and a $5,000.00 portrait session from VV Portraits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated FH as a Tier 1 priority for family screening. Each first degree relative of someone with FH has a 50% chance of inheriting the genetic disorder. If FH is found early in life, it can be managed, adding decades of life to those who receive appropriate care.

About Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)

FH is the most common genetic cause of early, life-threatening cardiovascular disease. FH is a global public health concern that affects over 34 million people worldwide and more than 1.3 million people in the U.S., but less than 10 percent are diagnosed.  FH causes extremely high LDL cholesterol from birth and is the cause for 20 percent of early heart attacks (heart attacks that occur in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s). Early and significant reduction of LDL cholesterol is key to successful management of FH, which requires lifelong treatment. To learn more about FH, visit www.theFHFoundation.org.

About the Family Heart Foundation

the Family Heart Foundation is a leading research and advocacy non-profit organization focused on reducing heart disease by driving scientific understanding and evidence-based care of familial hypercholesterolemia. Our mission is to save lives by contributing to scientific research that leads to greater understanding and improved diagnosis and treatment of FH worldwide.

Weigman, A, et al. Familial hypercholesterolemia in children and adolescents: gaining decades of life by optimizing detection and treatment, Eur Heart J 2015, doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv157.

Leave a Reply