Emily's Story

told by mum


Emily Falcon was born in 1982 and at seven weeks old, she had a heart attack that destroyed forty percent of the left side of her heart and was diagnosed with the cardiac condition, ALCAPA.

This was her entry into a world of multiple cardiac procedures, surgeries, and hospitalizations, and a later diagnosis of glaucoma.

Falcon has written a memoir that details growing up with a heart condition. Her book, From the Sidelines to the Finish Line: A Chronic Illness Survivor’s Challenges and Everyday Triumphs is a story of survival and how her physical situation shaped and limited her. She never surrendered, never wavered. She always forged onward. Falcon intends this story to be a helpful resource to families, caregivers, and physicians who want to gain insight into a patient’s point of view.

In 2017, after a lifetime of feeling that nothing could ever change, Falcon had a second open-heart surgery, which allowed her to participate in a 5K race a mere eight months later. She was no longer stuck on the sidelines. Drawing from her extensive life experiences, Falcon recounts how she found a way to surmount obstacles that people who live with incurable medical conditions and their supporters might face.

She is now an athlete who participates in a weekly run club and runs in 5K races throughout the year. She encourages her readers to advocate for themselves, believe in their abilities, never be afraid to test their boundaries, and feel motivated to make changes in their lives.

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