The Life-Saving Gift This Teen Gave Her Dad

Dads are really important and so is their health. Remember the time he taught you how to ride your bike? Or when he gave you your first driving lesson? And what about those hugs that make everything instantly better? Being a dad requires a big heart. This summer we’re asking our young people to give dads the gift of a healthy heart, especially because men are more prone to heart disease. They’re also 24 percent less likely than women to go to the doctor. Aware of this, Kimberly Sandoval decided to get involved in our I <3 Dad campaign and encourage her dad to get his blood pressure tested to reduce his risk of a heart attack.

DoSomething.org: How did your dad react when you asked him to get his blood pressure checked?

Kimberly Sandoval:  I always noticed my dad had a habit of getting his blood pressure checked when the opportunity would arise at any of our local pharmacies or stores. So, it was no surprise how willing my dad was to get checked out when I mentioned the campaign.

DS: Was it easy to convince him to go? Did you use any special tactics?

KS: I didn't need to convince my dad to get his blood pressure checked. Especially, my dad being of latino-decent, knows how much more he is likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Knowing this and having a history of high blood pressure in the past, I admire how proactive he is in monitoring his blood pressure. It is my dad who reminded me to take his picture at our local Sam's Club the other day, which made me smile at how excited he was to be a part of a good cause.

DS: Did your dad come back with a clean bill of health?

KS: Yes my dad came back with a good blood pressure of 124/87. It was very rewarding to see my dad crack a smile at his results. Almost like a kid getting a gold star for good behavior. I have come to the conclusion that this is why he enjoys getting his blood pressure checked out. It reminds him he has the ability to maintain a healthy blood pressure. He definitely encourages me to be more aware of my own health through his actions.

DS: What were the feelings on the results?

KS: For me personally, it is a sigh of relief, as well as shared happiness for his efforts to stay healthy because it shows me he values his health and our family. I say this because my dad is the primary source of income to keep my family running, which is why he is always stressed out to make ends meet. Stress being a causative for high blood pressure, is my biggest worry for my dad's health. His results always help ease both him and our family and eliminate stress. It means a lot when my dad tells me his blood pressure is under control.

DS: What is your family doing now to stay healthy?

KS: As a family we have done a complete 180 in our diet and lifestyle to show my dad we can battle high blood pressure as a family. Changing the way we eat has shown to be the most effective aspect in controlling my dad's blood pressure. It makes me feel good that we are all taking this seriously because having high blood pressure should never be taken lightly.

DS: One year later, how has your dad's blood pressure changed?

KS: My dad has definitely been clean for more than a year, and it fascinates me how much effort he has put in controlling his high blood pressure. Including his much appreciated routine high blood pressure check-ups made possible by our local pharmacies. I am proud of my dad and everyone else being proactive towards staying healthy.

Get the facts about heart disease. GO