Lois Trader of La Habra, California has been twice blessed. In 1993, she was told that there was little hope for her recovery from liver disease. She then joined the UCI Liver Research Department and was one of 370 patients on a then experimental drug called Interferon. After six months of ill health, Lois awoke one morning feeling completely well. "It was truly a miracle" she says, “aided by injecting myself with large doses of Interferon”. Ten years later while celebrating her 47th birthday, Lois began to feel an annoying tingling in her hand. Then the pain radiated to her upper back. This pain sent Lois to the emergency room and emergency room personnel greeted her with “You’re young and a woman”... as if the pain couldn’t be anything serious.
Though her electrocardiogram was abnormal, she was sent home with a prescription for a medicine to treat acid reflux.
She was also told to make an appointment the following week for further testing. Once home, Lois had to deal with what
she describes as “horrible back pain” and so she returned to the hospital and was greeted once again
with “You’re young and you’re a woman”. The emergency room doctor said, “I’d bet my last nickel that it’s indigestion
and you should not be admitted overnight”. Again, she was sent home and she said she was made to feel stupid.
The next day, Lois was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit where she was told to sign release papers for clinical procedures that included angioplasty and open heart surgery. She had a stent placed in her left artery to minimize blockage that had reached 75%. She was also diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Today, living healthy again, Lois now shares her story with other women. She writes and speaks on behalf of women’s heart disease so that other women will not be “made to feel stupid”. Harsh words, indeed, but not as harsh as the reality that heart disease is women’s #1 killer.
Lois has never smoked, did not have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and was physically fit and active. There was no diabetes in her family. However, Lois did have one major risk factor that no one can change: family history.
For the past 13 years Lois has shared all over the United States telling her story and inspiring, encouraging. and empowering women to be their own best advocate. Lois shares that there's more to heart disease than plaque in our arteries. Lois has been an Ambassador for the American Heart Association's Red Dress program and won many awards for her volunteerism.
We are dedicated to all the women who are not able to be here because heart disease didn't just interrupt their lives, as it did Lois Trader's, heart disease took their lives. We mean to empower and encourage you to take better care of yourself, to be your own advocate and trust your God-given intuition.
Lois' heart advocacy work is done through the nonprofit Los Angeles Center for the Broken, a 501 C charitable organization. Please help us help educate women how they can control or prevent heart disease. We need your support to continue to get the word out. A tax deductible gift of any size makes a difference in a woman's heart.