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Meet Robin Plonsker of Team Ritter

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

Robin Plonsker 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 Robin: 

When Robin Plonsker’s father felt almost unbearable pain in the left side of his chest nine years ago, he thought he was having a heart attack. Robert Tauber, D.D.S., called his cardiologist, who told him to dial 911. The emergency operator asked careful questions about the pain. He told her it was the worst pain he had ever experienced, that it was not radiating into his left arm and he could almost point to exactly where the pain was located. She recognized the possible symptoms of an aortic dissection and set him on a treatment path that would save his life. If an aortic aneurysm is misdiagnosed as a heart attack and anticoagulants are administered to the patient, the patient can bleed to death through the dissection. “He was very fortunate in that the dissection occurred in his descending aorta and he had a 911 operator and a team of emergency department physicians and nurses treating him who recognized that he was not having a heart attack as he initially thought and did the imaging necessary to diagnose a dissecting aorta,” said Plonsker, a Larchmont, N.Y., resident. “Therefore, my father was given the medical treatment he required to address this acute, life-threatening situation. I know that others have not been as fortunate, and I am supporting this cause to raise awareness of aortic dissection and, I hope, improve the likelihood that it is properly diagnosed.”

Text RITTERRP to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Robin’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/robinplonsker.

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 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 Jaclyn Morrison of Team Ritter

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

Jaclyn Morrison 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 Jaclyn: 

Jaclyn Morrison’s father was her biggest fan, as well as her coach, when she trained for last year’s New York City Marathon. So after he died in February from a thoracic aortic dissection and she found out about Team Ritter, the Long Island native didn’t hesitate to apply for the team. “I think it will be so awesome and it’s what my dad would want me to do to help raise awareness,” said Morrison, 24, a graduate student and Lacrosse coach who works at the family business, Rose Fence. Her father, 55, had been in good shape, worked out regularly and liked to take eight-mile walks. So when he complained of loss of vision and pressure in his chest, it came out of the blue. He was rushed to a nearby emergency room in Brooklyn, where doctors ruled out stroke and heart attack. But they missed the dissection, she said, and when he collapsed in his room, it was too late. “Running the marathon allows me to make something positive out of a horrible loss. It’s like it’s meant to be,” she said.

Text RITTERJM to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Jaclyn’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/jaclynmorrison.

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 Victoria Ramirez of Team Ritter

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

Victoria Ramirez 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 Victoria: 

When Washington, D.C., resident Victoria Ramirez, 26, learned that the John Ritter Foundation would be one of the official charities of the ING New York City Marathon, she did not hesitate to ask to join Team Ritter. Not only could she raise money to fight a disease that had taken her aunt, but she could fulfill her longtime goal of running the prestigious New York City marathon. “Aunt Michele was fun-loving; the life of every party. Since that awful day more than three years ago, there have been good and bad days,” said Ramirez, whose aunt died suddenly from a thoracic aortic dissection at the age of 45. “I sometimes feel helpless to do anything when I reflect on what happened, and I miss her terribly – but the John Ritter Foundation has provided me with an opportunity to do something. If I can raise money to support research and awareness, maybe I can help someone else’s aunt, mother, daughter. I think Michele would be glad to know that I am doing something positive in her memory.”

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

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 Edward M. Cooning IV of Team Ritter

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

Edward M. Cooning IV 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 Ed: 

Six years ago, when Jonathan “Jonnie” Miller died suddenly of a thoracic aortic dissection as a result of suspected undiagnosed Marfan syndrome, Edward M. Cooning IV and fellow friends formed Jonnie’s Goodguys in his honor. Miller had planned to run the One America Mini Marathon in Indianapolis that year and his goal became their goal. The small group, committed to elevating awareness of Marfan syndrome, has grown into an organization that has raised nearly $2,200 for the National Marfan Foundation. It also donates to other charities and coaches new runners through training. This year, Cooning, 38, launched My Heart Run 2012 with a personal goal of running the five world major marathons in 2012, including the ING New York City Marathon. “It’s the goal of Jonnie’s Goodguys to educate and generally live a healthier lifestyle so that we are all around a little longer with our loved ones,” Cooning said.

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

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 Catherine Quitania-Pool of Team Ritter

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

Cathy Quitania-Pool 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 Cathy: 

Tomball, Texas resident Catherine Quitania-Pool lost both her 62-year-old father and her 39-year-old sister to aneurysms. Her father’s abdominal aneurysm ruptured in 1997 during a camping trip. As a nurse who knew aneurysms often have a genetic basis, she encouraged her family members to watch for any symptoms. But 11 years after the death of her father, her sister unexpectedly died of an acute aortic dissection. “Aneurysms and thoracic aortic diseases do not care if a person is a grandfather, husband or father; a mother, wife, sister, or daughter; or even a famous actor, husband, father, or son like John Ritter,” she wrote in a letter to the John Ritter Foundation. “Symptoms of back pain or discomfort may be not be taken seriously and health care providers, unless aware of familial medical history, may not treat appropriately or because of insurance constraints, may not order the proper tests. Thoracic disease is a silent killer that leaves loved ones lost and in despair.” Quintania-Pool began running in her sister Marianne’s memory to begin to heal. “I started running because she could not. I started running because I could. I started running to find some peace for myself. I started running because I needed a place to go and feel alive again,” said Quitania-Pool, who has two teenage children and will turn 40 just before the race.

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

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 Jed Nuchtern, M.D., of Team Ritter

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

Jed Nuchtern, 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. Nuchtern: 

As a pediatric surgeon who has treated individuals with aortic disease, Jed Nuchtern, M.D., will be running the New York City Marathon in honor of the founder of modern aortic surgery, the late Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. DeBakey pioneered the surgical procedure for repairing aortic aneurysms—a procedure that saved DeBakey’s own life when his aorta dissected at age 94. “I have taken care of many children and adolescents with Marfan syndrome and would like to help raise money for research of aortic disease,” Nuchtern, 56, said. Marfan syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that can lead to aortic dissection. Nuchtern started running while in college at Princeton and has nine marathons under his belt, but this will be the first New York Marathon for the native New Yorker. “I enjoy distance running because of the meditation and because it is so different from my daily work,” he said. “Living in Houston, the best time for me to run is before work. I enjoy being out on the roads when they are empty and getting into my groove. I enjoy running a marathon the most when I am on a team, so this is a great opportunity for me.”

Text RITTERJN to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Dr. Nuchtern’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/JedNuchtern.

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/


Meet Tara Mastracci, M.D., of Team Ritter

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

Tara Mastracci, 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. Mastracci: 

To counterbalance her intense training and career as an aortic surgeon, Ontario native Tara Mastracci, M.D., has been running since her medical school days. Now she is able to blend her interests together as a member of Team Ritter. Mastracci is on the staff of the Department of Vascular Surgery in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic and is an assistant professor of surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. “I am excited that these pursuits will now meet,” said Mastracci, who has run five marathons. “I have dedicated my life to the treatment of aortic disease, and the patients I have encountered with aortic dissection prove to be a large source of inspiration. They are very quickly catapulted into a disease that will affect every aspect of their lives for many years to come. I am always so impressed the way they deal with the ‘marathon’ of aortic health with a positive outlook and a courageous spirit. These are the patients who will inspire me to run.”

Text RITTERTM to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Dr. Mastracci’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/taramastracci.

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 Alana Cecchi of Team Ritter

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

Alana Cecchi 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 Alana: 

During her training, genetic counselor Alana Cecchi quickly learned the value of informing patients and their family members about the underlying genetic causes of many diseases and how important is it to be aware of family history. Now a counselor with the John Ritter Research Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), she is on the front line of working with families whose members have been affected by thoracic aortic disease. “I have been fortunate enough to meet with many patients and families affected by aortic and other vascular diseases and to hear both the triumphs and struggles they have endured, said Cecchi, who is with the Division of Medical Genetics at UTHealth. “Increasing awareness and early diagnosis has saved lives, which is why I have decided to contribute to furthering research in the area of aortic aneurysms and dissections by running the NYC Marathon as part of Team Ritter to raise both money and public awareness for aortic disease.”

Text RITTERAC to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Alana’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/alanacecchi.

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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