Monica’s Heart Condition and What She Wants You to Know

Monica was just 18 years old and already a star. Touring the country in support of her second album, she was performing in Washington, D.C., belting out the first portion of “Angel of Mine” when…

“Everything in front of me basically began to go from color to black-and-white, fading in and out,” she said. “I walked to the side of the stage to ask for help and collapsed into one of our staff people’s arms.”

Over the next eight days, doctors struggled to trace the source of her problem. Meanwhile, tabloids cranked out various theories.

The diagnosis: a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse. In simple terms, the flap between the upper and lower chambers of her heart wasn’t closing properly.

And so began Monica’s journey with heart disease, a ride that’s grown wider and deeper as it has grown longer, now in its 17th year. Among the startling revelations was how much heart disease impacts others who are just like her: Southerners. Women. African-Americans. And, most powerful of all, her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Read the rest of the story on Huffington Post

Photo Credit: RCA Records

Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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