Day 10's Charity of Choice is Close to This SparkleSister's [Broken] Heart

SparkleSister Ellen Robin not only shared her nonprofit nomination, she shared her story. Read below to find out why the Day 10 charity means so much to her.

"I have a nonprofit that is very close to my heart, in fact to my broken heart, literally. The organization is called SCAD Research, Inc. SCAD stands for spontaneous coronary artery dissection. SCAD is where an inner layer of a coronary artery splits. Blood seeps between the artery layers, forms a blockage and starves the heart muscle. Depending on the speed in which the dissection is diagnosed and treated, the result of SCAD ranges from chest pain (angina), heart attack, or death. I am a 7-year survivor and I am doing great."

SCAD happens mainly to women (90% of cases) and the average age is 42. "Young, healthy women's lives are impacted by this potentially fatal or life altering condition. Pregnancy is a risk factor, but the vast majority of cases occur in people with no known risk factors or underlying conditions, 15% of patients experience two or more events. And we don't know why!"

"We do know that SCAD has often been misdiagnosed, but because of ongoing research for the last 5 years, a lot has been learned. We still have a long way to go! SCAD Research, Inc (SRI) is a grassroots non-profit started by Bob Alicio five years ago when he lost his wife to SCAD. SRI has committed to raise awareness as well as funds for the Mayo Clinic where they are conducting the largest SCAD study in the world. In the last five years, SRI has donated almost $500,000 to the Mayo Clinic. Most of these funds have been raised by survivors and three yearly "SCADaddle" 5ks organized in various parts of the country. I wear my SparkleSkirts to the SCADaddles and other races I do for another charity that is close to my heart, The Susan G. Komen 3-Day. That charity also means a lot to me as I lost my mother to the battle."

We are grateful to have such incredible survivors in our SparkleFamily. Thank you, Ellen for not only nominating SCAD but also sharing your story and educating us.