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American Heart Month: Our commitment to well-being extends beyond professional pursuits

Post Date - Feb 1, 2024

As we approach the month of February, I wish to bring your attention to a significant observance – American Heart Month. At Ascend, our commitment to well-being extends beyond professional pursuits, and it is with this in mind that I emphasize the importance of your heart and its health.

I would like to share with you a personal story, one that has deeply impacted my life and reinforced my commitment to heart health. My Grandpa Cafarelli and my beloved Mother, Marylou, both passed away due to heart-related issues, and their stories have left an indelible mark on my heart.

Grandpa Cafarelli was a remarkable man who lived life to the fullest. However, he neglected his heart health for years, believing that his zest for life would conquer all. Sadly, that was not the case. In his late 60s, he suffered a severe heart attack that ultimately took him from us too soon. His passing taught us the painful lesson that even the most vibrant spirits can be vulnerable if we do not prioritize our heart health.

My Mother, Marylou, was a selfless woman who put others before herself. However, she neglected to take care of her own health. We thought she had learned from Grandpa's passing, but the allure of daily life and its many demands took precedence over her health. Her untimely demise due to heart disease was a harsh wake-up call, and her absence still leaves an irreplaceable void in our lives.

These two losses have motivated me to take heart health seriously, not just for myself but for everyone I care about. Heart Health Month is not just a time for me to remember the loved ones I've lost, but also an opportunity to share their stories and inspire others to prioritize their heart health.

The heart, a tireless organ sustaining our daily endeavors, merits our dedicated consideration. In recognizing the role, it plays in our overall health and productivity, I implore each of us to take a moment during Heart Health Month to reflect on the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. It's not just about ourselves; it's about the loved ones who depend on us and the memories we have yet to create. Consider adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and routine check-ups with healthcare professionals.

I challenge each of you to reflect on personal habits and consider integrating heart-healthy practices into your daily lives. Furthermore, I invite you to share your insights and initiatives with your colleagues. The exchange of ideas within our corporate community can serve as a catalyst for positive change.

A healthy workforce is the cornerstone of a thriving organization, and prioritizing heart health is an investment in the longevity and vitality of your health as well as our team. I am confident that, collectively, we can make meaningful strides in promoting heart wellness within our Ascend family.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and let us embark on the journey of American Heart Month with a shared commitment to our well-being.


Mike Cafarelli

President, Ascend