Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Personal Stories

Facing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be a daunting task. You have every reason to be hopeful and positive about your outlook. You’re in good company: hear from other patients sharing their experience with HCM.

Danielle posing with red balloons

After her cardiac arrest, woman’s family prepared for the worst
Though she long had symptoms, her diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy came just months before crisis. Read Danielle's story.

Karen standing next to doctor

Minnesota woman ‘outliving’ odds of hereditary heart condition is making a difference. Read Karen's story.

Ava Van der Meer (right) takes part in a half-marathon after she received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Ava Van der Meer)

Despite hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 'you can still be you'
Diagnosed with the condition at age 23, a California woman charts a path to continue her vigorous lifestyle. Read Ava's story.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy survivor Kacie Nowakowski with her newborn daughter, Madelyn. (Photo courtesy of Kacie Nowakowski)

She thought her heart problems were resolved – until she got pregnant
While a renewed diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy added drama to Kacie Nowakowski's pregnancy, mother and newborn are doing well. Read Kacie's story.

Gordon Fox had never heard of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy before his diagnosis. "Most doctors and even many cardiologists are not familiar with HCM," he says. (Photo courtesy of Gordon Fox)

A quarter-century of fainting episodes – then a diagnosis
After surgery for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, New Mexico man is dedicated to educating others about the condition. Read Gordon's story.

Vi Tang, whose hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was diagnosed when he was 15, has learned that it’s possible to lead a normal life with proper management of the disease.  (Photo courtesy of Vi Tang)

'Terrified' by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosis, Michigan man is now on a healthy path
He's pursuing graduate studies in physiology in hopes of doing research to help patients with the condition. Read Vi's story.

Michael Rizzo says that when he was finally diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, "It was like, oh my goodness, finally! It’s not in my head." (Photo courtesy of Michael Rizzo)

After six years of symptoms, a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosis
Medical journey that followed has taught man about advocating for himself. Read Michael's story.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy survivor Jake Burnam. (Photo courtesy of Rusty Burnam)

For 11-year-old hockey player, breathlessness signaled a struggling heart
After fainting during gym class twice, Jake Burnam of St. Joseph, Missouri, got an explanation for the strange breathlessness he'd been experiencing: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Read Jake's story.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy survivor Alison Conklin. (Photo courtesy of Alison Conklin)

As a teen, she saw her mom die from the same heart problem she inherited
Decades later, her son saw her collapse. But thanks to what was new technology at the time, a device implanted in her chest saved her. Read Alison's story.

Sara Amaya-Revelo (left) and her brother, Michael. (Photo courtesy of Sara Amaya-Revelo)

After brother's diagnosis, New Jersey woman unlocks her own
Ongoing, troubling symptoms are explained away – and then put on a back burner – before she learns she has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Read Sara's story.

Kathryn Redmond and her partner, Ethan. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Redmond)

Patient won't let diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy define her
After years of visits to cardiologists, Kathryn Redmond 'finally had a name' for her health troubles. Read Kathryn's story.

Kristen Criss

Twelve years after sister's sudden death, a clue from her mom's death certificate
When Kristen Criss met with the medical examiner after an undiagnosed heart condition killed her sister, he had an urgent message: Get your heart checked. It took 12 years before she learned she had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Read Kristen's story.

After years of symptoms, Shawn Lewis finally received diagnoses of heart failure and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Chef's persistent symptoms at last lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosis
After years of symptoms, Shawn Lewis finally received diagnoses of heart failure and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which led to a temporary heart pump and eventually a heart transplant. Read Shawn's story.

Adam Elliott — and his doctors — thought he suffered from anxiety. But his heart palpitations, chest pain and irregular heartbeats were missed signals of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Patient hopes to solve 'puzzle' of his heart condition
Adam Elliott — and his doctors — thought he suffered from anxiety. But his heart palpitations, chest pain and irregular heartbeats were missed signals of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. After finally getting a proper diagnosis, Elliott now focuses on his health and being with his two boys. Read Adam's story.

Gwen Mayes is a survivor of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Survivor powers through 'hell,' thrives on the other side
Gwen Mayes always had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. But she didn't always know it. And once she did, she reluctantly shared how the symptoms terrorized her. Years later, she helps others talk about their health. Read Gwen's story.

Sharon Bond flexing her muscles

Walking the talk
After undergoing surgery to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), Sharon Bond founded a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease. Read Sharon's story.

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The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association participates in the American Heart Association’s Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy initiative to improve HCM awareness and care.

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