At the Richmond Go Red for Women luncheon on February 23, 2018, Amber Eck moved the audience with her incredible story of how a case of pneumonia at age 20 attacked her heart, ultimately developing into advance heart failure. For nearly 3 years, an LVAD (left ventricular assistance device) has been helping Amber’s failing heart pump properly. Struggling physically and emotionally to accept her new “normal,” Amber said, “I no longer see my heart failure as a limitation or hindrance in my life. I look at it and all the experiences it has given me, and say I am a survivor, a warrior, and an overcomer.”
Just 2 weeks after Amber spoke these words, she received a gift that she only dreamed of – a new heart. Amber’s transplant surgery was a success, and she returned to her home in Midlothian early this week to continue the healing process. While advancements in technology and treatment benefited Amber’s successful outcome, the number of people diagnosed with heart failure is increasing and projected to rise by 46 percent by 2030, resulting in more than 8 million people with heart failure.
Amber was greatly honored and humbled to be the survivor speaker at this year’s luncheon and is excited about the education and awareness she will continue to raise as a local Ambassador for the Go Red For Women campaign. Contributions to Go Red For Women campaign not only fund vital research and programs, but they also give female survivors, like Amber, a platform to share their stories, inspire others and most importantly, a chance to live a full and long life.
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.