Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Year in Review & 2013 Preview

One year ago today, I had a successful transcatheter procedure at the University of Chicago Medical Center to implant a stent into my narrowed left pulmonary artery. As regular readers of my blog will recall, this surgery was done as an alternative to the originally-recommended open heart surgery. To this day, I couldn't be happier with my decision to have chosen the far less-invasive procedure.

2012 has been a great (and busy!) year. Following my bicycling accident in August 2011, I became pretty involved with the CHD community. In addition to the blogging I have been doing for the Adult Congenital Heart Association, here are some of my other CHD highlights from 2012:

  • March: I attended Congenital Heart Lobby Day in Washington, DC, where I was successful in persuading my Congressman (Mike Quigley of Illinois’ 5th District) to join the Congressional Congenital Heart Caucus.
  • September: I completed the Chicago Half Marathon—my first-ever running endurance event—with an official race time of 2:35:05, raising over $1,700 for the ACHA.
  • October: I became involved with the Chicago Adult Congenital Heart Network as a patient advocate, and I joined ACHA's Public Policy Committee.

2013 is already shaping up to be an exciting year, with an increased focus on health and fitness. I recently completed my CPR/AED certification through the American Heart Association, and I am registered to take the personal trainer exam in April. In addition, I have already signed up for a few running and cycling events:

  • January 1: Commitment Day 5K
  • April 7: Shamrock Shuffle 8K
  • May 18-19: Cardiac Challenge (consisting of two separate events in New York):
    • American Heart Ride - Century Ride (May 18)
    • Healing Heart 5K Run/Walk (May 19)

I wouldn't be surprised if I end up registering for another event or two in 2013, but I'm excited with this initial lineup of activities. Hope to see you on the trail!