Heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death in the United States, and its far-reaching effects have touched many of us. Each fall, we partner with the American Heart Association (AHA) to help raise funds and awareness for their mission to prevent heart disease. The research done by the heart association has paved the way for groundbreaking treatments like the open-heart surgery Ashly Burgado, our Allenmore branch supervisor, underwent at the age of just 13.
Ashly was born with a heart murmur, but it was not until a routine physical before soccer season at age 13 that they discovered the cause. The routine physical turned into an EKG and soon enough the 30-minute visit had stretched over four hours. When the visit was finally over, Ashly had a diagnosis that required action, and fast. It turns out, her right coronary artery was crossing her left leaving her at high risk anytime she exerted herself. She needed open-heart surgery. To make matters worse, the type of surgery she needed had never been performed on someone Ashly’s age; it was the first of its kind.
Her biggest disappointment at the time was the news she could no longer play soccer, much less walk up the stairs or do anything to stress her heart; this even meant no more scary movies (her favorite)! Thanks to her team of doctors and the research that had paved the way for them to operate, her surgery was successful. Now, at the age of 26, Ashly is able to lead an active and healthy life full of adventure! She often goes backpacking for three or four days at a time covering over 30 miles. She even gets to enjoy her favorite genre of scary movies again safely!
Ashly has been with the bank for five years now and looks forward to each fall’s fundraising campaign to support the AHA and their local Heart and Stroke walks, watching her community and her company join forces in support of something so near and dear to her. “I'm so proud to work at a place where the entire company truly cares about heart health,” Ashly says. As this year’s South Sound Healthy for Good sponsor, Columbia Bank is helping spread awareness of heart health by asking our community to join us in making small steps towards living a healthier life. The Healthy for Good program encourages everyone to take a pledge to live healthy for good. By making a pledge to Move More, Add Color, Be Well or Eat Smart, you can make heart health a priority with small actionable steps.
Though her open-heart surgery was successful, the pledge to live healthy for good takes on a completely new meaning as Ashly must pass an annual stress test and checkup. For Ashly, by taking the pledge to Eat Smart she is committing to finding ways to eat more heart smart food to help her be and stay healthy because maintaining a healthy weight is such an important part of keeping her heart strong.
When you sign up to take one or all of these pledges, you will receive quarterly tips and motivation to help you continue on the path to stay healthy for good. Join Ashly and many of our bankers as we take the pledge to Live Healthy for Good by making small changes today that will leave a lasting impact on our health tomorrow.
When you join us in supporting the American Heart Association you are supporting a healthier tomorrow. To show your support join us for your local Heart and Stroke Walk!
Spokane Heart and Stroke walk – Sept. 14 at Spokane Student Academic Center
South Sound Heart and Stroke Walk – Oct. 5 at Cheney Stadium
Seattle Heart and Stroke Walk – Oct. 12 at Seattle Center
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