Sheri Foote’s volunteer story started on the surgical table in 2006.
“Moving to Denver saved my life, actually. The altitude magnified my symptoms so that I would go see the doctor,” said Sheri. “They said I had major blockages in my arteries and that it was too late for any preventative procedure.”
Soon, at 39 years old, Sheri went in for quadruple bypass surgery. What started out as a routine surgery quickly became complex as Sheri had sudden cardiac arrest. She died on the operating table.
“Having a heart attack in front of an audience of doctors was careful planning on my part,” she joked.
What should have been a 4-hour surgery turned into 13 hours. Sheri stayed in the hospital for 16 days recovering.
“The battle for me can’t be won anymore, but it can be managed,” said Sheri. “For me, it’s about using my story to have a positive impact on our fight against heart disease so others don"t have to suffer my same fate.”
After a grueling recovery, Sheri joined the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Committee in Denver. Two years later, she joined the State Advocacy Committee after she attended her first You're the Cure lobby day in Washington DC in 2008.
"I've been involved in several advocacy victories over the years, but the biggest impact I feel I was able to personally have was on 2012 legislation to remove transfats from our schools," Sheri said. "I was invited to share my story with a Colorado Senate committee and I believe I was able to swing a few critical votes that helped pass that bill. There's something powerful in knowing you really can affect change."
Sheri is looking forward to the 2016 legislative session and helping lead Colorado’s State Advocacy Committee to more legislative victories.
“I’m looking forward to the 2016 session. If my story can benefit anyone, the next generation especially, I feel like I’ve used my powers for good,” said Sheri. “Our biggest impact is in our strength in numbers.”