Updated: 02/11/2014 7:18 PM
Created: 02/11/2014 6:44 AM WHEC.com
Every year, the Centers for Disease Control says about 600-thousand Americans die of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death for both men and woman. Health experts say prevention is the key. However, if you've been diagnosed with heart disease, it doesn't have to be a death sentence.
UR Medicine and News10NBC are teaming up to help you improve your heart health. Doctors and nurses are standing by the phone to answer your questions and help you get started on the road to a healthier heart. One of the best ways to get your heart healthier is exercise.
Lesakowski is an award winning ballroom dancer from West Seneca. Competitive dancing is very demanding physically and requires hours of rehearsing intricate dance steps. Lesakowski rehearses six days a week and it's paying off. He was recently named top male dance rat a competition in Niagara Falls. You can only imagine what this means to a 66 year old man who is competing against much younger dancers. But even more to a person who received a new heart. Only eight years ago, Lesakowski could barely get off of his chair. Cardiomyopathy had ravaged his heart. In 2006, he got on a waiting list for a transplant and in November received the gift of a lifetime.
Lesakowski said, “So many people helped me get to this point. The technology and the people, it's been an amazing experience and all I’m doing is taking advantage of it. I want to be the poster child for a good life because you realize when you're at that stage where you're going to die, you actually know you're going to die if something doesn't happen, it's like a rebirth. Take advantage of it. That's the way I look at it.
Unfortunately after receiving his new hear, Lesakowski lost his wife of 41 years in 2009. But determined to keep on living and live well, he leaned on friends and decided to try his new found passion of ballroom dancing. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of activity daily.
Blood pressure screenings:
UR Medicine cardiologists will offer free blood pressure and oxygenation screenings to help detect early signs of heart disease, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12, at The Mall at Greece Ridge.