Erin and Kathy Lanni, New York


During the spring break of my freshman year at Providence College I was scheduled for a physical with my new doctor as I was transitioning from the care of my pediatrician.    I wasn’t worried. I have always been an active person, one my parents would affectionately call a gym rat.  But my doctor heard a slight heart murmur and noticed that my resting heart rate seemed slower than usual.  After numerous tests and appointments I was told that I needed a pacemaker.   I wasn’t 80, I was 18!  Today, I live a fantastic, normal, happy, and healthy life.  The only difference is, now I have a pacemaker.  In my personal case, routine health care and that annual physical saved my life.  I decided to become a spokesperson for the American Heart Association because if I can even influence one person here to get checked, to take care of themselves, to eat healthy and stay physically active, and to know their numbers, I have done my job.  I need the Heart Association to continue to advocate for research to keep me alive and healthy.

From Erin's mom, Kathy Lanni: My indoctrination into heart disease is like most; sudden and without warning.  Our lives changed suddenly when after a routine physical, I learned that my 18-year-old daughter, Erin, needed a pacemaker.  Time stopped.  We were not prepared; after all she was an active student athlete, a regular at the gym, she ate healthy.  Erin has had a pacemaker for 6 years and is alive powered by a device and a battery.  She is doing great and I start every day thankful to the American Heart Association for the research they fund to treat and prevent heart disease. I know that the AHA will be tirelessly working by my side to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure heart disease.  I need the American Heart Association to keep Erin alive …. Research shows you do too.  Thank you AHA!

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