Althea's dilated cardiomyopathy

A few weeks after giving birth, Althea was having trouble breathing.

Her friend advised her to call the doctor and the doctor told her to call an ambulance.

High blood pressure and cardiomyopathy

After numerous tests at the hospital, Althea was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle where it becomes stretched and weakened.

Althea also has high blood pressure. She is on medication to help treat her condition, but finds taking them a struggle.

Finding others with heart conditions

The other thing Althea found was that she didn't know anyone around her with a heart condition – not even a risk factor like diabetes – and made her feel isolated and misunderstood. She's hoping the Women's Room will mean people like her won't have to go through that, and can get the support they need.



What is dilated cardiomyopathy?

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of your heart muscle where it becomes stretched and thin. Inherited DCM is caused by a change or mutation in one or more genes and if you have Inherited DCM, there is a 50 percent chance your child will inherit the condition. DCM can also have other causes.

More stories from women

Others have joined Althea to provide resources and support for women living with heart conditions. Their stories are below:

Hina's heart attack
Rachel's stent
Amy's hole in the heart

Support life saving research

It's not enough to know that cardiomyopathy has a strong genetic connection. We need to build on that knowledge to successfully target drugs and other treatments. That progress is still a long way away and we need your help to continue to work toward it.

Donate today not only to help provide people like Althea with resources like the Women's Room, but also to help us continue researching cardiomyopathy.