Molly Schroeder was just 21 when she learned about the dangers of heart disease.
“My mother had a surgery, and she actually had a pulmonary embolism, so she had a blood clot in her lung, and then 16 days later I had a heart attack,” Molly told Local 5.
As an active college athlete going through the stress of beginning her senior year at St. Norbert College, on top of the recent loss of her mother, Molly thought she was having a different kind of emergency.
“At the time, I thought I was having a panic attack,” she said.
A trip to the Emergency Room leads to a stay in the Intensive Care Unit, where an answer is found.
“They finally found out I had a 90 percent blockage off my left coronary artery,” Molly said.
Doctors were able to treat the blockage, but Molly is forced to give up soccer and find a “new normal” for her life.
“Since I was like four years old I was kicking a ball around,” Molly said. “And then my senior year of college, right at the beginning of the season, you can’t play contact sports anymore, so trying to find that outlet, my new thing.”
One new thing Molly finds is running.
Another: educating others on heart health.
Molly says she started speaking at Door County Schools about heart disease and heart health, and then decided to take her message to a larger platform.
The position will give Molly a platform to tell her story locally and across the country.
“If I can prevent someone else from dealing with what I had to go through, or their mother, or their grandma, or their friend, then I feel like that’s why I’m still here, that’s why heart disease didn’t claim my life,” Molly said.
To learn more about heart disease and the “Go Red For Women” campaign, click here.