FH Foundation And Miami Community Highlights Familial Hypercholesterolemia Awareness Day

More than 100 VIPS gathered to acknowledge Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) day on September 24th at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort for a panel discussion co-hosted together with April Irene Donelson and the FH Foundation – with honor given Ryan Patrick Carrigan, who passed away from undiagnosed FH, in June 2018. FH is the most common cause of early heart attacks and premature coronary heart disease, impacting people of every race and ethnicity. More than 34 million people worldwide and 1.3 million in the United States have FH, and yet 90% remain undiagnosed.

Photos by Romain Maurice.

Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and panel discussion with leading cardiologist Dr. Seth J. Baum, MD and Katherine Wilemon, Founder of the FH Foundation.

Marla Rose, Yara Bashoor and Virginia Anna. Photos by Romain Maurice.

Christine Del Portillo (FL Senator Rick Scott’s Office – South Florida District Director) presented a proclamation on behalf of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declaring Sept. 24th FH Day, in addition to the letter prepared by FL Senator Rick Scott commemorating the day, found in the program handbooks.

In addition, September 24th 2019 was declared a Day of Remembrance of Ryan Patrick Carrigan with a proclamation by Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami-Dade County Mayor, Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson and Members of the Board of County Commissioners, including County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. and County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman on behalf of Miami-Dade County.

Alessa Torres, (Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo) presented both the proclamation from the Miami-Dade County for FH Awareness Day and also the Day of Remembrance of Ryan Patrick Carrigan. Rey Lester, on behalf of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, also addressed attendees.

“People with familial hypercholesterolemia are in jeopardy of heart attacks and strokes early in life,” said Katherine Wilemon, founder and CEO of the FH Foundation.  “FH is passed down through families, leaving entire generations at increased risk. By increasing awareness of FH, more people will receive the early diagnosis and treatment necessary to prevent early death.”

FH is a genetic disorder characterized by high cholesterol levels, specifically very high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, "bad cholesterol"), in the blood and causing early cardiovascular disease. It is the most common, life-threatening genetic condition in the world, affecting 1/250 – with just 10% diagnosed. It is 100% manageable. Those with FH are immune to controlling their high LDL cholesterol levels with diet and exercise, and require more advanced treatments. The condition runs in families, with a parent having FH – having a 50/50 chance of passing it along to their child.

Guests in attendance included Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Miami Adriana De Moura, Fitness Celebrity Jennifer Nicole Lee, Miami Philanthropist Angela Birdman, Haute Media Group Co-Founder Seth Semilof, Claudine Smurfit, Radmilla Lolly, Nadia French, Lynn Levy, and Elizabeth Nickerson with the American Heart Association South Florida.

Adriana De Moura. Photos by Romain Maurice.
April Irene Donelson and Seth Semilof. Photos by Romain Maurice.

The event was sponsored by Haute MD, Land Rover North Dade, PTS diagnostics, FH Family Partners and Get More Productions. Drinks were provided by Tu-be Global Spirits and floral arrangements by Sandy Silvera. Additionally, auction items included a stay in the St. Regis Bal Harbour Ocean Suite, a custom $3,500 purse from Yara Bashoor and a $5,000.00 portrait session from VV Portraits.

The FH Awareness Day Miami Host Committee includes Angela Birdman, Committee Chair and Miami philanthropist, Andreea Baclea, Committee Co-Chair, Dana Rhoden, The Dana Agency PR, Inga Miller, Financial Operations Manager, Lily Lazaro, Director, Player Development, Hard Rock Casino, Natalia Sol, CEO Sol Strategy Partners, Nicole Berger-Rainis, Owner, South Florida Smile Spa, and Jennifer Nicole Lee, Fitness Celebrity.

Photos by Romain Maurice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated FH as a Tier 1 priority for family screening. Each first degree relative of someone with FH has a 50% chance of inheriting the genetic disorder. If FH is found early in life, it can be managed, adding decades of life to those who receive appropriate care.

Liza LeDonne and Andrea Gutierrez. Photos by Romain Maurice.
Jasmine Patel, April Irene Donelson, Dr. Seth Baum and Katherine Wilemon. Photos by Romain Maurice.
Jasmine Patel, Alessa Torres, Michael Carrigan, April Irene Donelson, Katherine Wilemon, Dr. Seth BaumPhotos by Romain Maurice.
Photos by Romain Maurice.
Photos by Romain Maurice.