STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A Sturgeon Bay woman is no stranger to sharing her story of survival with the entire country. At 21 years old, Molly Schroeder became a heart attack survivor.
“I was born with a hole in my heart, and I also had a blood clotting disorder. When I had my heart attack I also had SCAD. Your blood vessel just kind of collapses,” says Molly Schroeder, Marketing Director of Von Stiehl Winery.
SCAD, or Spontaneous coronary artery dissection, is difficult to diagnose before it causes a heart attack, because it doesn’t have any warning signs, according to the American Heart Association.
Schroeder, a former soccer player, was in excellent shape, but heart disease runs in her family. Her father also had a heart attack, and she lost her mom to pulmonary embolism in 2012.
Schroeder first talked to Local 5 in 2018, before heading to New York to be apart of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.
“I was the class of 2019 and it was an amazing journey. I got to go to New York twice, once for New York Fashion Week. There was the Red Dress collection. Macy’s put it on and I got to see all these celebrities. Even just coming together with other survivors and building that sisterhood and that community,” says Schroeder.
Schroeder was invited to appear on the Today show in 2019 to discuss her struggles with heart disease.
“It’s been a whirlwind. I’ve been a guest speaker at lunches and dinners. I’ve been very lucky and it was such an honor to be picked. There are so many incredible heart stories out there,” says Schroeder.
She regularly uses her social media platforms to raise awareness of the disease.
“One in three women will be affected by heart disease. Whenever I listen to those numbers or statistics, it shocks me to my core,” says Schroeder.
After witnessing the division the country has seen in the past year, it brings Schroeder joy to turn on the tv or look at social media and find a sea of red on National Wear Red Day.
“If it can unite us for a day or a month, then I’m all about it,” says Schroeder.
Schroeder cannot stress enough how making a few changes in your daily routine can go a long way in preventing heart disease.
“Getting out the door and going for a walk for a half hour a day or maybe stretching while you’re watching tv and watching your sodium and sugar. These small changes can really leave a big impact for the rest of your life,” says Schroeder.
The American Heart Association has been saving lives for more than 90 years fighting against heart disease and stroke. For more information on the American Heart Association, click here.