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Grand Blanc teen starts Stay Heart Smart organization to spread awareness

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 6:33 PM EST
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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - February is American Heart Month, but a Grand Blanc teen is working to spread awareness of cardiac health every single day.

Rylie Dewley, a 17-year-old student a Grand Blanc High School, participated in a heart health check sponsored by the Thomas Smith Foundation several years ago. That check uncovered two serious problems -- leaky valves and mitral insufficiency.

Dewley believes learning her cardiac health status may have saved her life.

Now, this ambitious teen is working to give back. She’s started the organization Stay Heart Smart to spread awareness about heart health.

Dewley is working on a few educational videos, which will be shown to Grand Blanc students. She’s also put together care packages for cardiac patients at Hurley Medical Center.

Heart conditions among children and teens are a lot more common than many people think. Dr. Nancy Cutler of Hurley Medical Center, said parents should make sure their kids know to tell them about any chest pain, dizziness, abnormal heart racing or shortness of breath.

These symptoms can occur both at rest and with exercise.

When it comes to food, Cutler said its important to stay at a healthy weight by limiting sugar, sweets and snacks. Obesity can bring high blood pressure and diabetes even in teens.

Cutler said smoking is one of the worst habits for heart health. She advises teens not to pickup the habit and parents to put down the pack.

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