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Meet Amy Derksen of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Amy Derksen will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Amy: 

In 2009, with no known history of heart or aortic disease, then 37-year-old Amy Derksen was shocked to discover that she had a bicuspid aortic valve, a birth defect that led to a thoracic aortic aneurysm requiring immediate surgery. In a bicuspid valve, there are only two leaflets instead of the normal three, which allows blood to backwash and puts stress on the thoracic aorta. “At the time, I was busy raising an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old and I was in the best shape of my life,” said the Denver resident, who blogged about the experience. “I soon realized that I was so lucky and blessed that the condition was diagnosed before it was too late.” Now 40, the former public relations manager is a member of Mended Hearts and has visited patients in the hospital to share her story. She is also an avid runner with a lifelong goal to run a marathon. “I am passionate about telling people about aortic disease and passing on the Ritter Rules whenever the opportunity presents itself.  I proudly wear my scar as a reminder to live life to its fullest and be thankful for every day,” she said.

Text RITTERAD to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Amy’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/amyderksen.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Jonathan Kern, M.D., of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Jonathan Kern, M.D., will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Dr. Kern: 

As with many people born with a bicuspid aortic valve, radiologist Jonathan Kern, M.D., 49, did not know he was at increased risk for an aortic dissection. Instead of the three leaflets of a normal aortic valve, his had only two, allowing blood to backwash into the heart with every beat. While he was being treated for severe high blood pressure and palpitations in 2009, he had a renal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Because he was a radiologist, he carefully reviewed the MRI and barely saw the aneurysm that could have proved deadly if left undetected. He immediately underwent surgery to replace the valve and repair the large aortic aneurysm above his heart. “The surgery truly, profoundly changed my life. I no longer have the palpitations and anxiety that plagued me for at least 10 years,” said the Austin, Texas resident. “And now I have quality time with my kids for years to come.”

Text RITTERJK to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Dr. Kern’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/jonathankern2012.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


 


 

 

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