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Why I love February

Why I love February

Living in Chicago, most people I know are surprised when I say I love February. I’ve never been a big fan of winter; I can’t stand snow and I hate the wind. Even as a kid, I hated being outside in the winter.

No, my love of February has nothing to do with the weather. My love of February, or American Heart Month, started on December 18, 2012, when, at age 32, I had a heart attack.

Looking back on that day—and all the tough days that followed—I still feel incredibly blessed by the outpouring of support I received from my friends, family and the wonderful staff at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. I firmly believe that without all the support, especially the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program staff, I would not be here today.

American Heart Month serves as a reminder to take a look at our own lives and see what we could be doing to improve our chances of beating heart disease.

In the past year, since posting my last blog, I’ve started a new job, made wonderful new friends, took a week-long family vacation, attended several Broadway musicals and have created wonderful memories with the people who matter most to me. I feel very blessed that I was given a second chance, and I try to live my life in a way that honors those who were not as lucky me.

I continue to eat healthy, exercise often, see my doctors regularly and take all my medication. I also smile as much as I can!

The best advice I can give is simple—take care of yourself. Know your risk factors and if something doesn’t feel right tell your doctor.

Life is so short, so precious and such a gift. I feel blessed for every day that I get.

I wish you all many more Februarys.

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About the Author

Dan Cavanaugh
Dan Cavanaugh

A 33-year-old Chicago man shares how he is preparing to run the Chicago Marathon after surviving a heart attack last year.