Real Women 2016 – 2017

The 2016 – 2017 Go Red For Women class of Real Women represent a sisterhood of women who actively, urgently, and passionately participate in the movement to raise awareness of the issues of women and heart disease. They represent the different faces of heart disease and stroke nationwide and hope that by sharing their story, other women will be inspired to make a change and share their personal stories as well.

2016 - 2017 Real Women

Click an image to read the personal stories of this year’s Real Women.

Shea Bowen

Heart Disease

Shea Bowen thought the swollen limbs, extra 30 pounds and gestational diabetes she experienced were typical pregnancy pains. But she was in heart failure, a complication caused by a tumor that wasn’t discovered until her son was born.

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Shea Bowen

Amanda DeJesus

Heart Disease/Transplant & Pacemaker

Houston chef Amanda DeJesus had a heart transplant at age 15. She pursued a culinary career to help other heart patients maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Amanda DeJesus

Mickie (Mickela) Esquivel

Heart Disease Prevention

After losing several family members to heart disease, Mickie Esquivel overhauled her diet and developed a new sense of responsibility for her health.

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Mickie (Mickela) Esquivel

Nicole Hardy

Heart Disease

While she didn’t initially recognize the symptoms, Nicole knew something didn’t feel right so she finally sought medical care that discovered two almost completely blocked arteries, and that decision saved her life.

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Nicole Hardy

Ruby Hope

Heart Disease

Ruby Hope’s efforts to raise awareness about heart disease took on new meaning after she had a heart attack. She made significant lifestyle changes and became an advocate for those in the community and for her own family to take charge of their health.

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Ruby Hope

Sarah Porter

Stroke

After surviving two strokes by age 24, Sarah Porter devoted her career to public health, raising awareness about heart health and other lifestyle factors that can help protect lives.

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Sarah Porter

Chicarra Jones

Prevention/Caregiver

After watching her mother struggle with heart disease, Chicarra Jones was inspired to advocate for a heart-healthy lifestyle. Her mission took on new meaning when she learned she had high blood pressure and cholesterol herself.

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Chicarra Jones

Sacha Taylor

Heart Disease

An abnormally slow heart rate caused Sacha Taylor to go into cardiac arrest when she was just a month old, and her dad saved her life with CPR. Now the young mom is focused on both CPR and high blood pressure, urging other women to know their risks.

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Sacha Taylor

Evelyn McMahon

Stroke

After surviving a stroke, Evelyn McMahon transformed her life. She encourages others to take charge of their health, talk to their doctor, ask questions, learn their risk and “learn to live!”

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Evelyn McMahon

Lilian Tsi Stielstra

Stroke

A stroke gave Lilian Tsi Stielstra the wake-up call she needed to change her diet, exercise regularly and reduce stress. She encourages women to understand their family history and health factors and make lifestyle changes to reduce their risks.

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Lilian Tsi Stielstra

Eve Walker

Heart Disease

Eve Walker had a heart attack at 28, but she was too afraid to accept what it would mean for her life until nearly a decade later. Now she urges women to be open about their health and to recognize the signs of heart disease and stroke.

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Eve Walker