Heart Ball Chairman Char Hubble Brings Awareness to Women’s Heart Disease
A woman’s heart is an incredible gift of nature. With every beat, it pumps out an infinite amount of love, warmth and strength to fuel the various roles she plays in life—as a mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt and friend.
But what happens when that infinitely giving heart starts to falter, eventually giving in to the grasp of heart disease? It’s certainly a situation no woman, nor family, wants to imagine.
However, the statistics don’t lie: One in three women die of cardiovascular disease and stroke every year. Many of these women were unaware of their symptoms or were not diagnosed properly. That’s where the American Heart Association and Phoenix Heart Ball committee come in.
“A lot of women just think they are having stress or anxiety, even though they are having classic symptoms like tingling in the arms or compression in the chest,” says 2017 Heart Ball Chairman Char Hubble.
Hubble’s mission for the 58th Annual Phoenix Heart Ball, themed Infinite Hearts, is simple: to educate and empower. To educate children through CPR kits and training in school, and women to know that this is not just a man’s disease. Empowering them both to create a community of saviors.
She also has a personal reason for her devotion to raising awareness about women’s heart disease. Her mother suffered a major heart attack and had to undergo quadruple bypass surgery in 2006.
“I’ve actually been volunteering since I was a child, motivated by my mother,” says Hubble. “But I joined the Phoenix Heart Ball specifically after she had her heart attack.”
Three brave hearts—Char Hubble, her sister Angela MacLean, and her mother Mary Jane Brue—share their versions of that fateful night and how it impacted their lives.
Mary Jane Brue
Brue recalls what started out as a normal girl’s weekend getaway at her daughter Angela MacLean’s house in Dallas, which soon turned into an experience she would never forget.
“I remember the week before I left just feeling very tired; the kind of tiredness you almost can’t describe because it’s so overwhelming. But I still told my sister right before we left not to say anything was wrong because it would probably just pass,” says Brue. “That very night I went into massive heart failure. I couldn’t even breathe. It was the scariest experience of my life.”
Brue was then rushed to a nearby Dallas hospital where she was diagnosed with heart failure, and a week later had to fly back to Southern California to undergo quadruple bypass surgery.
“So much of my recovery was attitude. If you have an attitude that your life is going forward and that something like this is just a blip in the radar, you can move forward,” says Brue. “But I still don’t think it can be repeated enough how crucial education and awareness is to saving your own life, and the lives of others.”
The host of the weekend also recalls how that night changed her life.
“It all happened so fast, yet the severity of it was incomprehensible,” says MacLean. “I couldn’t believe how something like this could happen to what appeared to be such a healthy woman, and who had always been so.”
“Now, every time I go to the doctor’s office I make sure that they know my family has a history of heart disease, because even though I am healthy right now, you never know what can happen, and I’m always aware of that.”
Hubble came away from her mother’s experience with heart disease with an increased reverence for the American Heart Association’s mission.
“I really wanted to make a difference in the community, because if the American Heart Association had not done everything they did for my mother she wouldn’t be here today. I will always be grateful for that,” says Hubble.
She brought her passion to Phoenix and proves her gratitude through service. She was a Heart Ball committee member for 10 years before becoming the 2017 Heart Ball Chairman.
“If I can raise awareness and can save one life this year by being Heart Ball Chairman with the money that we raise, I would have done my job,” says Hubble.
A truly heartfelt sentiment expressed by one of the biggest hearts in the community.
The tradition continues with the 58th Annual Heart Ball on November 18, 2017 at The Phoenician. For more information, please visit PhoenixHeartBall.AHAEvents.org.