Luncheon touts heart-healthy living

More than $125,000 was raised and nearly 300 people attended the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women luncheon at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Colonie on Thursday, May 28.

At the event, people had their cholesterol checked, learned how to prepare heart-healthy meals, heard victim impact stories and also learned more about heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in America. WNYT News Channel 13 anchorwoman Benita Zahn was master of ceremonies.

I am very proud to be here, said Zahn, encouraging the crowd to enjoy their lunch and pay close attention to what the researchers and victims had to say about heart disease.

As attendees ate their dessert, they watched a video about Dawn Manogue and her 8-year-old daughter, Lily Toomey, both of them suffer from heart conditions.

"I just did not feel right," Manogue said, after telling the crowd that her troubles began after she gave birth to her daughter, and that her doctors were constantly telling her she just had "new mommy anxiety."

Later, it was discovered that she had two blood clots in her lung, and she was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Soon after her daughter was born, it was discovered that Toomey too was having heart troubles.

"[The doctors] heard a murmur in her heart," Manogue said, which lead to her having open heart surgery " one of the scariest days of Manogue's life, she said.

Now, both Manogue and her daughter are doing well, and Manogue told the audience that she's, "glad I've had the opportunity to live to see my daughter grow."

She also urged the crowd to know their bodies and be proactive if they feel that something is wrong.

"Listen to your intuition and talk to your doctors if you think there's something wrong with your heart," she said.

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