Home is your heart

by chris carney

Throughout the years, Luxury Las Vegas has profiled a number of amazing people involved with a variety of charitable and philanthropic causes. One common trait permeates the people who dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others: All of them have been humble.

Katie Lever is no exception. Like many a philanthropist before her, this humbleness is one of the major reasons she is so good at her job. It is also a primary reason why she has been selected as Moonridge Group’s Philanthropist of the Month for February.

Lever’s voice is warm and kind, and her passion toward her work is infectious. Like many Las Vegas residents, she is from somewhere else but has found her home in the Valley.

“Your home is your heart,” Lever said, and although her words are seemingly simple, they get right to the core of who she is and why she does what she does.

She has fingers dipped in many ventures, but her primary focus is the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” event, which aims to raise money and awareness to combat heart disease in women. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, and it is largely preventable.

“Eighty percent of the causes of heart disease can be modified and changed with just a few simple tweaks,” Lever said. “Small changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle can save lives.”

One of the biggest issues with heart disease in women is that it presents itself with an entirely different set of symptoms than in men. We’ve all seen your stereotypical heart attack in movies and TV shows: pain and tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, a tingle in the arm. Yet, these are all primarily male symptoms. Women can experience these, too, but quite often symptoms masquerade as something else. Nausea and stomach upset are common precursors to heart attacks in women, and many doctors, ignorant of what these symptoms really indicate, send their female patients home with an antacid. Sometimes this leads to dangerous, if not fatal results.

“We have the power to change this,” Lever said. “This year’s events kick off the AHA’s Heart Week, (concluding) on March 2 with the annual Go Red for Women luncheon at Aria.”

All across Vegas throughout February, restaurants and bars are offering special red promos from which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the AHA.

“Awareness and education are our primary focus,” she added. “We have the power to change the lives of millions of women and in the process save families.”

As busy as organizing the Go Red event keeps Lever, who is a full-time attorney, she has many other passion projects, too.

I’m just a girl who can’t say no,” Lever said with humility and grace, proving that not only is it her work that makes her the Philanthropist of the Month but her genuine need to make the world a better place.

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