Renee Buzzell wants to make women more aware of cardiovascular disease, which affects one in three women around the world.
For heart attack survivor Renee Buzzell, the day before Valentine’s Day has special meaning as it commemorates Weared Canada Day, an event that raises awareness about women’s heart health.
In August 2020, at just 36 years old, Buxel suffered a heart attack while camping with her husband and two young children, then ages 3 and 4.
“The kids wanted to go swimming, they wanted to run around, and I didn’t even have the energy to keep up with them,” Buzzell said of the symptoms leading up to the heart attack. “Then I woke up from a deep sleep with just a crazy sharp pain, like someone had punched something into my chest.”
Buxel knew that heart disease runs in her family. Her father, Yves Lapointe, died in 2008 from a severe heart attack.
“At first I started to panic a little bit and said, ‘Oh my god, am I having a heart attack?'” she recalls. It’s a heart attack. ”
Buxel said she went back to bed, telling herself everything was okay. “My husband came to my room around lunchtime and said he had to go back to town, and I told him, ‘I think he had a heart attack this morning.'”
He took her to Sault Regional Hospital, where initial tests revealed some damage to her heart. She was admitted to the hospital and referred to a cardiologist who ordered an angiogram.
“I think [the cardiologist] I went into the test thinking everything was fine, but when he went into the cath lab he saw that his artery was clogged and that he needed a stent and that he actually had some kind of cardiovascular disease. “I said I was,” she recalled.
As she recovered, Buzzell thought about her young children and her own experience of losing a parent to heart disease.
She eventually ended up in the cardiac rehabilitation program at the YMCA, where she worked to improve her heart health with each visit.
“I had a heart attack and it was just an eye-opener. It’s been about three and a half years and I still wake up at 5 a.m. every day and train,” Buzzell said. . “I want to be here for my kids. I lost both my parents, I lost my father, and if there’s anything I can control, I’m going to make the most of it.”
Over the past four years, Buzzell has shared her journey through social media and organizations such as the Canadian Center for Women’s Heart Health. Every year on February 13th, we fund an event called “Wear Red Canada” to raise awareness about women’s heart health.
Last month, Ms. Buzzell was recognized for her advocacy work as a finalist for the Young Athena Award, which will be presented at the 2024 Algoma Visionary Awards Gala.
Globally, one in three women suffers from cardiovascular disease, yet it is understudied, underdiagnosed, undertreated and under-aware, the website states. wear red canada.
“February is the month of love, the month of caring for our loved ones and sending them flowers,” Buzzell said. “But what you really have to do is take care of yourself.”
Because of her fear of a heart attack, Buzzell and her family commemorate the event each year by wearing all red.
“Children are in school from head to toe. [in red] And I wear red clothes and go to work. “I train in the morning wearing all red and I ask everyone to wear red too,” she said.
A few years ago, Buzzell hired a local photographer to photograph her in a red dress to raise awareness and show that heart disease doesn’t just affect men.
In some cities, local landmarks such as the CN Tower will be lit red to raise awareness of the event.
Marie’s landmark water tower at the Sault Ste. Water Tower Inn will also be lit red on Tuesday the 13th, coincidentally coinciding with Valentine’s Day this week.
Buzzell had been working toward preparing a resolution for the city council regarding Wear Red Canada’s events, but the tragic loss of her friend Angie Sweeney and her advocacy work with her organization made it difficult for Buzzell to do so. Through the combined efforts of Angie’s Angel Group As a result, that no longer happens.
“We wanted to achieve that this year, but there were other things going on that were preventing us from raising awareness.” [for women’s heart health] “This year,” she said.