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West Chester Heart Champion Headed To White House

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Friday, 50 WomenHeart Champions will meet at the White House. The meeting is called Making Healthcare Better, but for the WomenHeart Champions, it’s about women, heart disease, and how to improve awareness and treatments. Among those 50 women, is a survivor from West Chester.

Lise Borel and her energetic dog Willow, walks a couple of miles every day. It is her medicine along with the prescribed drug that keep her heart disease under control. “I’ve always been healthy, and to all of a sudden have that taken away, that’s the hard part about heart disease,” Borel explained.

It started when she was just 42 with arrhythmia, an erratic heartbeat, and then passing out. In hospitals, she says instead of being treated like a heart patient, she was treated like she had emotional troubles. “I’ve had people say are you having problems at home? Do you think this could be stress? Do you want a valium?”

Once correctly diagnosed, Borel ended up with a series of pacemakers and cardiac ablations. “It’s hard to think of where I was and where I am now,” she said emotionally.

Research has shown men and women with heart disease often have different symptoms, and don’t always get the same kinds of treatment. “These differences should be advertised and explained not just to patients, but to medical professionals so that women have the same chance of a good outcome as men may have,” she explained.

Borel, who is 62, was selected by The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease to be one of 50 heart champions from around the country selected yearly to advocate for women’s health.

On Friday they’ll meet at the White House.

“Who wouldn’t be excited?” Borel exclaimed.

The focus of the meeting at the White House tomorrow with administration officials, will be how to improve cardio-vascular research and treatments for everyone, with a special emphasis on women.

Lise says she doesn’t know if she’ll see the President or first lady because they’re not on the schedule, but she’s hoping for a surprise visit.

For more information on WomenHeart, click here

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