Healthy balance can save your life: 9Health Fair set for April 27


By Constance d’Angelis
Special to The PREVIEW
Did you know that cardiovascular disease kills over 800,000, which is one in three deaths per year, or one death every 40 seconds. And, an American has a stroke about once every 40 seconds.
Over 92 million Americans live with cardiovascular disease or after-effects of stroke.
Don’t want to part of this statistic? Neither to do I.
Shaping a healthy, balanced lifestyle can shift the odds that these conditions will kill or incapacitate you.
Cholesterol screening is important in detecting the risk for cardiovascular problems and possibility of sustaining a stroke. This testing is included in the general blood chemistry offered for the minimal cost of $35 at the 9Health Fair April 27 at Pagosa Springs High School.
A colleague of mine, we’ll call him Dave, suffered a debilitating loss. Confused and highly stressed, he bought a small motorhome and with his dog started traveling across the country. Previously, he was diligent in care of his physical and mental health, but his heartache, grief and doubt were taking its toll. The result was yet to be discovered. He stopped in our fair mountain town and, as luck would have it, he had a blood screening that included cholesterol testing.
The results indicated that he was a traveling time bomb for a heart attack or stroke. His cholesterol risk ratio was off the charts. Now what? Quite a “wake-up call” for Dave. He had to make some massive shifts in his lifestyle and/or start on statin drugs to lower the LDL cholesterol (lousy stuff) and raise the HDL (good/helpful).
He opted for a change in his diet, including more fish, lean meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts. He increased his exercise regimen and received regular massage therapy sessions. Daily, he sat quietly for 20 minutes in mindful meditation and took up writing for 10 minutes in a journal. Dave’s new focus helped him out of his depression and minimized his stress. He was able to get the total cholesterol, and the lousy and helpful into normal limits. He walks daily by the river, which is instrumental in calming his demeanor, too. His dog is really thriving with the added activity rather than driving in the motorhome for days on end with a grouchy master.
I’m not sure if it’s his smile, rosy cheeks or deep laugh that identifies his transformed heart life.
You can fashion a healthy balance in your life, too.
Come to the high school on April 27 from 7 to 11 a.m. for screenings and education.
Want to volunteer? Have a working brain and a good attitude? Most volunteers don’t need special medical skills.
Questions or want to volunteer? Contact Sharee Grazda at 731-0317 or email Visit You can reach Constance at