Stroke Survivor Supports National Heart Month - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/06/04 - Longview

Stroke Survivor Supports National Heart Month

National Heart Month was proclaimed in Longview, and for one East Texas woman, its a cause close to home. National Wear Red for Women day was the American Heart Association's way to increase awareness about heart disease, the number one killer of women.

For Pinewood Elementary teacher Jana Sellars, National Heart Month is more than just a cause, it's something she has lived.  At 32, she's a heart disease survivor. "Everybody assumes that it just happens to older people and that was my assumption" says Sellars.

Two years ago, after Jana had given birth to her son, she suffered a stroke, and because of a damaged aorta, underwent open heart surgery. She was in therapy for two months, regaining her motor skills, learning to walk and talk again. She now works to educate other women through her own experience.

"It could happen to someone who's 20, age is not an issue. I take every day and I'm just blessed to have every day because I never thought something like that would happen and it makes you look at life and its a whole lot more precious when you've gone through something like that," Sellars says.

She was on hand at today's ceremony at the Longview Mall and accepted the proclamations of national heart month on behalf of the heart association. "This is something that not just affects women or men, but it affects families. I can't think of anybody that is not in some way impacted by heart disease," according to Gregg County American Heart Association chairman Larry Austin.

Anyone who wants more information on heart disease and how to prevent it, is asked to call your local American Heart Association.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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