When Little Elm resident Elizabeth Beard was chosen by the American Heart Association (AHA) from hundreds of volunteers around the United States to serve as the first National Volunteer Spokeswoman for Go Red For Women to represent PAD, she was ready to hit the ground running. The fuel in her fire was an earnest desire to increase awareness about the vascular condition she has lived with since 2013.
Not a trained public speaker or a blogger, Elizabeth bravely said yes to both! She wanted to help other people suffering from PAD find the help they need. “When I was diagnosed with PAD, my biggest fear was losing my legs,” said Elizabeth. “I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox because of the pain. The truth is, lots of people do lose their legs unnecessarily — mostly due to lack of information and proper care — and that is just a travesty. I had to do something to help.”
Many people don’t even know what PAD is or that it puts sufferers at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Elizabeth is grateful that through her involvement with the AHA, she learned more about the vascular specialists who most often diagnose and treat PAD. Her cardiologist referred her to Dr. Lam and Lam Vascular & Associates, where she is now a patient. “My experience was that there are all kinds of resources and support groups for cardiac and stroke rehabilitation, but if you have PAD, you’re kind of on your own,” she said.
For Elizabeth, it’s not enough that she has received excellent care and today, has her own PAD under control. She wants the same for others!
“When I smoked, I used to laugh when people told me it would kill me,” she said. “I’d say, ‘Oh well I’m gonna die of something! I might as well enjoy my time here.’ But, sometimes you don’t die…you have to live with a life-altering illness like PAD. I don’t think the world understands how devastating this diagnosis can be, or what it’s really like to live with it, but I do. That’s why I volunteer my spare time when not working to do what I do. To save lives and limbs.”
Thanks to Elizabeth’s proactive attitude and generous spirit, along with help and support from the American Heart Association, PAD is being spotlighted like never before. For the first time in its 25-year history in Dallas, the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk hosted an educational tent dedicated to PAD at the 2018 Dallas Heart Walk.
At a recent appointment with Dr. Lam, Elizabeth mentioned the inaugural PAD tent and asked him if he would be interested in a sponsorship opportunity. “I was really impressed with his response,” she said.
How Can I Help?
Not only did Dr. Lam enthusiastically agree to sponsor the PAD Tent at the Dallas Heart Walk, but his commitment also went far beyond a simple financial contribution. Dr. Lam, along with his associate Dr. Cassidy Duran, and several other Lam Vascular team members, showed up on walk day in their “Ask me why you should take your socks off!” t-shirts. They spent the duration of the event educating, informing and handing out PAD resources to participants. They have plans to be involved every year moving forward!
“I’ve had a lot of medical care over the years because of my condition so I always pay attention to how a doctor and his or her staff treat other patients,” said Elizabeth. “Dr. Lam and his entire team are truly amazing. He never rushes me, is willing to spend as much time with me as I need and makes each visit a wonderful experience.”
Walk (or Run!) to LAM Vascular & Associates
PAD can be a sneaky disease and is often missed, even by cardiologists, who don’t always have it on their radar. Not so for Dr. Lam. If you have unexplained leg pain (especially when walking), see a vascular specialist. Having performed over 10,000 complex peripheral interventions, Dr. Lam is credited with preventing thousands of leg amputations.
Lam Vascular & Associates has locations in Dallas and Rockwall, Texas. Schedule your appointment today to get a leg up on your vascular health…and take your life back.