Over the years I have tragically lost many family members to heart disease. My grandfather had a stroke at the age of 43 that left him paralyzed for the next 50 years; my grandmother died of a heart attack; my father had a heart attack and died at age 43, and my half-brother died at age 43.
Determined to break the cycle, I began to research healthy lifestyles. The reoccurring item in my research was to eat seafood. Over thirty years ago, I made a decision to replace all meat in my diet with seafood and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
Unfortunately, many Oklahomans have dietary lifestyles that negatively affect their health. A very high percentage of our population suffers from heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and many other chronic diseases. This affects everyone in our community— parents who are unable to take care of their children, the early death of a parent, children suffering from early onset of chronic diseases, etc. Everyone pays the price. But together we can make a change.
This is the first time in the history of our country that our children are not expected to live a longer, healthier life than their parents. I am passionate about public health and serve on the board of the University of Oklahoma Public Health. Properly educating the residents of Oklahoma will positively affect today's generation, along with generations to come.
I hope my story will inspire others and bring attention to the severe importance of eating heart healthy. We cannot do anything about our gene pool, but we can all make decisions to live a healthy lifestyle.
—Mary Blankenship Pointer, OKC Coalition Member
"Over thirty years ago, I made a decision to replace all meat in my diet with seafood and I couldn't be happier with my decision."
"We cannot do anything about our gene pool, but we can all make decisions to live a healthy lifestyle."