"It’s a real family commitment to support HEART UK and I am proud to be an Ambassador and help in any way I can”. Read Rachael's story
I think of all the lives that could be saved
Above: Kath with her Dad Gordon and Daughter Erin.
“I've had FH for about 11 years, since I was 24. Prior to that, my Dad had a heart attack at the age of 46, and my Granny also had a heart attack and bypass surgery. It was more than 10 years after my Dad's heart attack that his GP suspected FH and recommended that myself and my sister have our cholesterol checked; from memory my result was around 9.6. Before agreeing to take statins, I lost weight and adopted a healthier lifestyle but my result was even higher at the next test - which even without a genetics test proved that it was likely FH; I have been on medication ever since.
I first got in touch with HEART UK when I was diagnosed as I was desperate to find out more information and to help raise awareness. I am a passionate supporter of HEART UK as I feel everyone should have the opportunity to find out if they have FH. I feel incredibly lucky that I did not lose my dad (who is still very much alive and kicking) and even more lucky that I found out I had FH whilst still in my 20s, and before I had a heart attack or any complications.
As an ambassador I share a lot on social media, encouraging others to get their cholesterol checked...trying to spread the word. I've done some running challenges to raise funds, and I've also baked healthy goodies and sold them at work in exchange for donations. My husband who is a teacher also gets involved sharing posters and leaflets at his school, both with pupils and teachers.
I am passionate about using my experience and knowledge of FH to make a difference to other families. I think of all the lives that could be saved and that motivates me in my role as a HEART UK ambassador to do whatever I can to spread the word and help save lives”.