THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: Our June winner helps women recover from heart disease

Anne Wolter is devoting her life to help women recover from heart disease.

"I love taking care of people," Wolter said. "I love helping them to feel better."

Wolter works in cardiac rehab at Mayo Clinic.
She helps women recover from cardiac events through exercise and education.

"I see their confidence growing," Wolter said. "I see their strength growing. They tell me how much better they feel and how they can go back to doing the things that they do.That’s what it’s about for me."

Wolter recruits some of these patients to share their stories and warning signs during the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon.
Wolter has been involved with the organization for nearly ten years.
Every luncheon, she finds about four to six heart patients to be the guests of honor and model in the Survivor Fashion Show.

"I ask them to share their story," Wolter said. "I ask them to open their heart with the women of our community and it’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. When they agree I want to do everything to make it an easier experience for them."

From goodie bags on the day of the event to a star on their dressing room door, Wolter makes sure that these heart survivors feel special.

"She really genuinely cares for them, makes them feel comfortable, and makes sure that they know that they are being honored and that we want to get their story out there," Sara Clausen, American Heart Association Regional Director, said. "For a lot them it’s very hard for them to share their story, especially with some of them the events being very recent, and she makes sure that they’re comfortable and feel beautiful."

For Wolter, it’s all about raising awareness.
One in three women will die of heart disease. The disease killing more women cancer.
But despite the statistics, Wolter says heart disease isn’t a death sentence.
 
"These women with good medical care and with behavior modification they can live the life they were living before being diagnosed with heart disease, but someone needs to share that with them," she said. "They don’t know they are scared to death
I just love what I do."

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