CRG recently said goodbye to one of its dedicated players on the mend. At the end of the 2011 season, LEATHERNECK left North Carolina to start a new life in Tennessee. This move has not been the only big change in LEATHERNECK’s life in the last year. Last season, at the Palmetto State Roller Girls Invitational in Myrtle Beach, NC, LEATHERNECK suffered a heart attack. As a veteran of the United States Marine Corp and a Carolina Rollergirl it is obvious that LEATHERNECK is tough, but she learned one important message that day she wants to share: listen to your body. If you feel like something is wrong, it probably is.

LEATHERNECK skated with CRG since July 2008 when she transferred from Fayetteville’s Rogue Rollergirls, so hard hits and exhausting jams were no stranger to her. While she did experience some of the classic symptoms of a heart attack such as pain radiating down the left arm, tightness or pressure in the chest, and shortness of breath, she easily considered them results of taking a hit to the chest in the previous jam. Once off the track skaters alerted the EMTs on duty. LEATHERNECK refused to be transported to hospital and was determined that she was not having a heart attack. On the drive home to Fayetteville, LEATHERNECK became lost, but magically landed directly in front of a hospital.

LEATHERNECK is now working on recovery. Due to blood thinners she will not be able to skate for a year after her heart attack and has had to scale back her intense exercise regime to walks.  Fortunately she has her biggest supporter her husband, Mr. NECK to help her through this healing process.  Now in Tennessee, LEATHERNECK remains an advocate for women’s heart health, and encourages everyone to be educated on the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. This story rings true throughout the sport we love. We are not all as tough as LEATHERNECK and while this is roller derby and yes, everything usually does hurt, if you think something is wrong, do something about it. And that doesn’t mean skate another jam!

LEATHERNECK recently shared her story at the Palmetto Rollergirls Labor Pains Tournament . Check out the video here:

(thanks to Vanessa Suggs from Myrtle Beach, SC for letting us borrow her video)

Contributed by Ava Gore and Scaristotle

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