DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Speaking life into her day is a daily habit for Lachanda Lipscomb Lee. For the Dinwiddie woman and her family, their attitude is one of gratitude.
"Try to really enjoy each day because it is a gift and I know that firsthand," Lachanda said.
Lachanda, who works in HR for Dinwiddie County, lost her only brother to a heart attack at 47, watched her father struggle with heart issues and a stroke and watched other family members who were impacted by heart disease.
During COVID-19, she faced the fight of her life.
"I had a heart attack at 47, a widow maker. Two heart attacks, actually," Lachanda said.
Lachanda ultimately found purpose in her pain. Now in her faith walk, she helps others.
"I think it's why I'm still here. I think it's the path He wants me on," Lachanda said.
Lachanda, who was selected as a 2023 Woman of Impact by the American Heart Association, is dedicated to educating others about heart disease. Sharing the story she shied away from at first is now a healing process.
She has made intentional life changes from diet and self-care to prioritizing time to laugh and find joy.
"I ignored some of the subtle signs, now I don't. I pay attention to them and if I have a flutter or headache or if my heart is beating fast, I contact my doctor. I call my cardiologist. I'm on it. I'm not going to delay," Lachanda said.
It's advice that she shares with everyone as she raises awareness about heart disease. Using her Woman of Impact platform, she is now asking the community to support her fundraising efforts.
"That's how we impact the biggest change. How we do research, how we do marketing and how we pack pantries with food and put on different programs," Lachanda said.
The educational programs are ones that she is looking forward to leading during the nine-week campaign that she prays will be life-changing and life-saving for others.
"Here in Dinwiddie, our great EMS team will be doing free CPR classes for employees. Mental health awareness for moms who have high blood pressure due to pregnancy. So education and awareness and focusing on topics of prevention, that's where I see myself in the next nine weeks," Lachanda said.