In 2005, a young woman contacted the Foundation. Her name was Stacey Grieshop, and she shared with us the tragic loss of her husband in September the previous year - unknown to him, he had a bicuspid aortic valve. Also unknown, he had an aneurysm of his aorta in his chest. He died suddenly of aortic rupture. The physicians he had seen previously had not recognized what was wrong. An autopsy revealed what in life was not understood - BAV and ascending aortic aneurysm.
From the first, Stacey sought ways to tell Doug's story and save others. The Foundation declared September an awareness month beginning in 2005, and Stacey bravely shared that month of both joy and grief with everyone. Doug's birthday, their wedding anniversary, and the day of Doug's death are all in September.
All of us who volunteer with the Foundation are grateful to Stacey for continuing to share her story. This year, she spoke to a group of life insurance agents. Here is the video
Here is the Foundation's press release, issued in 2005 - September is TAAD Awareness Month. The words written then remain true today - there is life-saving treatment, but it must be detected in time. I regret to say that lives continue to be lost, wives and children left to mourn. There is still lack of awareness, as evidenced by this headline - Wrongful death suit filed after 21 year old dies of ruptured aorta.
In 2011, it is clear that there is still a great deal to do to prevent these tragedies. Thank you, Stacey, for all you do.