Family Heart Advocate - Charlotte M.

Not only did she give me life, but she also saved it

Family Heart Advocate - Charlotte M.After you’ve lost your mom, Mother’s Day is complicated. Sadness and “what if’s” mix with gratitude and “I remember when’s.” My heart swells with love for the woman I was fortunate enough to call “Mom.” And even though I talk about her in the past tense, my swollen heart still feels her in the present.

I carry many of her qualities: an appreciation for nature, a proclivity for serenity, beautiful, unruly curls, and the familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) gene, to name a few.

FH is how I lost her on that rainy Monday morning in March 2010. One day life was normal, the next it was flipped upside-down.

Her father had it, too. And while we knew high cholesterol “ran in the family,” we didn’t know how serious it could be.

I’m grateful that we know now.

Family Heart Advocate - Charlotte M.My diagnosis took a while. It was a long time before I had a name for the high cholesterol that “ran in my family.” But after I was given the name FH, a world of information opened to me. Between the resources I found through the Family Heart Foundation, and the educated and experienced doctors in charge of my care, I know what FH means and how to manage it.

If things were different, and I could give my mom a gift this Mother’s Day, I’d give her this information. I’d give her the name of my doctor. The fancy name for the condition we used to call simply “high cholesterol.” I’d give her a hand to hold, a body to hug, and a smile to share as we navigate this diagnosis together.

Family Heart Advocate - Charlotte M.But things aren’t different. While I wish they were, I still enjoy the most meaningful gift my mom gave me every day. My life.

Not only did she give me life, but I also believe she saved it. Had we not lost her, I would not have had my cholesterol checked this early. I wouldn’t have known how high my LDL was, and I wouldn’t have started treatment.

This gift of life is precious.

Family Heart Advocate - Charlotte M.This Mother’s Day, take a moment to remember your most precious gift. Health. Know your risk. Know your family history. Know your numbers. Know your lipoprotein(a). Know your LDL Safe Zone. Share your knowledge. You or your loved one could be the 1 in 250 people who have FH and or the 1 in 5 who have high lipoprotein(a).

Focusing on gratitude is a choice. It doesn’t make the sadness go away, but it makes it more bearable. Just like knowing your risk is a choice. It doesn’t change your genetics, but it gives you the information you need to life a long, healthy life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas here and beyond. ❤️

Family Heart Advocate - Charlotte M.Charlotte M.
Advocate for Awareness
Family Heart Foundation

Charlotte M. is a Family Heart Foundation Advocate for Awareness. If you're interested in joining the Family Heart Foundation as an Advocate click here to learn more.


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