Today is my one year anniversary… One year ago today I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. After many, many months of being ill, I finally demanded to see a specialist. Every doctor that I had gone to had said that I had “female problems”… Endometriosis or some other reproductive problem. I underwent two surgeries because they were convinced that they would fix me. They didn’t. After being on bed rest because I was so swollen I could barely walk or hold a pen, I decided that I had to take a stand. I made an appointment with another doctor, and upon seeing me, he stated that I “need to see a Cardio specialist”, because he thinks I could have something wrong with my heart. I could not believe what I was hearing. Here I am, a 25 year old young woman, and this doctor is telling me he thinks I might have heart disease. It was a shock. I made an emergency appointment with a (well, now MY) Cardiologist and he ran me through a battery of tests. I can still remember sitting in his office when he spoke the words… “Samantha, you have Congestive Heart Failure”. I was shocked. The phone calls to my family that same night were heartbreaking… My mom cried, and my sisters were worried that I was going to die. After a lot of research over the internet, I was able to put together packets for each member of my family, giving them each more information about heart disease. A couple months ago, I attended a “Jump Rope for Heart” fundraiser at my 12 year old sister’s school. She had told her P.E. teachers that I have heart disease, so they asked for me to say a few words to the kids (and their parents)who were participating in the event. This was the day I stopped being in denial, and the day I faced my disease. Now, I am proud to say that I am a SURVIVOR, and I am STRONG, and I GO RED for myself, and for all of the other women out there with heart disease.