Monday, March 31, 2014

Let's Start From the Beginning

I decided it's best if I start this blog off with a post about who I am.

I'm Stacey, but prefer Stace. I'm a single, young professional in my mid-twenties living in Upstate New York with my miniature poodle, Coco. I love all things Penn State (Alum) and Disney (Annual Passholder).

I was born with congenital heart disease; pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum, and an atrial septal defect (ASD). Pulmonary atresia is a condition in which the pulmonic valve does not form correctly. In my case, instead of a valve between the right ventricle and the main pulmonary artery, there was a sheet of tissue blocking blood flow between the two. Lucky for me I had an ASD (fancy for hole in my heart), this allowed the blood to shunt from the right side of the heart to the left side. Unfortunately, it was not being oxygenated. I became cyanotic (blue), and was rushed to Golisano Children's Hospital. At only one day old, I had my first open heart surgery: A Blalock-Taussig shunt was performed to shunt blood to my lungs to be oxygenated.
At three days old I had my second open heart surgery; the surgeons opened my chest and removed the undeveloped pulmonic valve, so that blood could flow freely to my lungs to be oxygenated.
Finally, when I was 16 I had the ASD closed with a small wire mesh device called an Amplatzer Septal Occluder Device. This was done though a catheter in my groin. 

Now, nearly 28 years later, I am doing well. I'm still living without a pulmonic valve, but my Cardiologist said he doesn't think I'll ever need one. With that news, I asked him if I could run a half marathon. His response, "Yes, you can do whatever you want." So I took it and ran with it... literally.

I ran my first half marathon in 2013, runDisney's Princess Half marathon. Since then I have done 2 more half marathons (including the Glass Slipper Challenge - photo above), and I am planning on three more in 2014. I'm actually really excited to go back to see my Cardiologist this summer and show him all my medals from the past 2 years!

So, what can you expect to see on this blog? A lot about running! Ever since I ran my first 5K in 2012 (runDisney's Tangled Royal Family 5K), I became somewhat addicted. I'll be recapping all of my races, writing updates on my training progress, and throwing in a dash of my life outside of running.

Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!

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