National Wear Red Day

Today is National Wear Red Day – a day where we unite to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke.  Read why Tom, a father living with familial hypercholesterolemia goes RED:

Why do I wear Red today? This is me on my LDL apheresis machine at the Reading Hospital. I have been doing this every two weeks for almost three years now. This life saving machine removes 75% of the cholesterol from blood thru needles that are twice the size of your typical IV needle.

I have a disease called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) that causes my liver to not remove cholesterol naturally from my body. It is a genetic disease that has affected us on many personal levels.

I also have Heart Disease which causes the inside of my veins to be rough and traps that elevated cholesterol in my veins causing blockages. I have had two heart attacks been life flighted to Hershey for an emergency stent after finding my widowmaker artery blocked and had triple bypass open heart surgery. I have put my loved ones, especially my wife, thru hell and back.

I don’t look at this as a burden…because I am not a burden. I look at this as a challenge that I can and will beat. The founder of the Family Heart Foundation, Katherine Wilemon said, you don’t find an individual with FH. You find a family with FH.

This is why I wear Red today…for my daughters and granddaughters, that I hope to be alive to meet, who will face this in their lifetime. -Tom ‪#‎GoRedWearRed‬

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