02/22/10 — Heart disease support group seeking members

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Heart disease support group seeking members

By Laura Collins
Published in News on February 22, 2010 1:46 PM

A local non-profit organization that supports people with heart disease is looking for new members.

The Wayne County chapter of Mended Hearts, a nationwide organization, is holding its first-ever membership drive.

"We wanted to hopefully get new membership in because there's such new technology out there right now, we're hoping to get a younger following. Heart disease can affect any age," said LaRue Tart, president of the local chapter.

The organization is looking for members who have experienced heart disease or have a family member who has.

"Our main drive is because there's been so many signature advances in heart treatment that we need members that have experienced this new technology, that can relate to the patients that are using this new technology," Ms. Tart said.

At the age of 50, Ms. Tart discovered she had aortic stenosis. She had open-heart surgery, which replaced the aortic valve. Later, her heart stopped and she had a pacemaker inserted.

Part of the organization's mission is awareness, Ms. Tart said. As members, they meet with people diagnosed with a heart condition, share their own story and encouragement.

"Since heart disease is still the number one cause of death in America, including all cancer combined, it seems that people are in more denial of heart disease than they are of other disease," Ms. Tart said. "Our main objective is to give hope and encouragement to people with heart disease and let them know they can continue to have an active life after a heart event."

Annual national membership dues are $17 and annual chapter dues are $12. The group holds monthly support meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in room 444 at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Anyone is invited to attend, even if they aren't members, and are invited for "education and support."

For more information, call Ms. Tart at (919) 689-2079.