Heart and Vascular

Amber Walks to Save Lives Like Her Own

Feb 27 2024

When Amber Jacobs was just 6 months old, she was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four defects in the heart and its blood vessels. She had her first open-heart surgery at 6 months and a second surgery when she was 4 years old to repair two holes in her heart. Then, at age 27, she had her third and final heart surgery to repair her pulmonary valve.

Amber, now a human resources service delivery partner in our Cincinnati market, credits the doctors she has seen throughout her life for helping her get to where she is today.

She has witnessed the advancements in research and technology related to heart disease and recognized that is a direct result of others donating their time or fundraising to support research efforts. And, as she’s gotten older, giving back is something that remains important to Amber.

“A passion of mine has always been to give back, and any time I have a chance to use a platform to raise awareness for heart disease I will use it,” she shares. “Heart disease runs in my family, and it’s been a part of my life since I was a baby, but it’s also helped me focus on living and making the best of every situation.”

This year, Amber will participate in the American Heart Association’s Heart Mini-Marathon and Walk event in Cincinnati on March 17. She will complete in the 5K walk for the eighth time.

Amber’s family, extended family and friends look forward to participating in the event each year to not only help raise money for ongoing research but also to demonstrate what’s possible to others who may be impacted by heart disease.

“If it wasn’t for people donating their time and money to facilitate physician research, I might not be where I am today or not be able to walk a 5K,” Amber shares. “To me, this event is an opportunity to be part of something bigger and show our support for others living with heart disease.”

And Amber is one of many employees from our ministry running or walking to save lives this year.

Brian Gwyn, president of our Cincinnati market, is serving as chairperson for the 2024 Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon and Walk.

“I’m honored to serve as the campaign chair for this year’s Heart Mini-Marathon and Walk, and I couldn’t be prouder of all the Mercy Health employees who have signed up to participate in an event or donate to a fellow coworker’s team,” Brian says. “As an organization, Mercy Health is stepping up to remove heart disease and stroke as our nation’s number one killer and top disabler by supporting the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Mini event.”

As of mid-February, our Cincinnati employees had formed nearly 200 individual teams with more than 1,000 participants for this year’s Heart Mini and will raise more than $230,000 for the American Heart Association.

Want to learn more about your heart health? Take our online heart risk assessment today.

Also, learn about the heart and vascular care services we provide at Mercy Health.

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