Meet the Survivors: Angela

My name is Angela Anania, I am 43 years old, and I have worked for Gene Juarez for 21½ years. I am a cancer survivor and well controlled diabetic from the age of 9. I considered myself to be a healthy 43 year old, until April 15th 2014 when my life changed once again.

I was in the middle of a blow dry service for one of my favorite clients. I had to excuse myself because I had broken out in a complete sweat with severe chest pains. Not knowing yet that I was having a heart attack, I motioned to one of my co-workers Ana to get me a glass of water and grab a manager. I felt very nauseous and proceeded to get sick in the restroom. Feeling very lethargic and weak, I made my way to the back office and my manager Jennifer called 911. It felt like a life time but the paramedics, all 8 of them, arrived in 3 minutes. I was rushed to Virginia Mason’s ER and immediately taken to the cath lab where my now favorite doctor, Dr. Krizter, proceeded to put a stent in one of my arteries that was 100% blocked.

Two months later, I had a stress test and a week later had two more stents put in another artery. I’m so grateful and eternally thankful for everything all of my co-workers did for me that day. I feel I would not have survived if I had been anywhere else. The stars were definitely aligned for me.

Every event in my life has changed me a little. Diabetes, breast cancer, the loss of both parents -and this. I’ve always eaten well, my exercise has increased a little but mostly it makes me appreciate everyday and everybody. I have always done that before too but it drives it home. Our lives are precious. I continue to work out and watch the food I eat. I encourage everyone to PLEASE know the symptoms for a heart attack for both men and women and DO NOT take them lightly. Be good to yourself, you are worth it!

I am excited to walk the runway on November 12th and show people that ordinary women that look like they are in shape and healthy can suffer from heart disease AND still survive. Women should not ignore the warning signs, they should take care of themselves and put themselves first. Knowledge is power.

To me, Living Life Beautifully means taking care of yourself and cherishing your family and friends. Making the most out of everyday. Loving yourself for who you truly are!

See Angela and our nine other survivors walk the runway at the GJ Fall Event ‘Live Life Beautifully on November 12, 2014 at EMP Seattle. All proceeds benefit The Hope Heart Institute and Northwest heart health education. Tickets are on sale through November 9. Buy your ticket online today at gjfallevent.com

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