ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  Advocating for the public’s health and sharing life-saving resources is the mission of the American Heart Association. Shayai Lucero is a heart attack survivor and new board member for the American Heart Association-New Mexico. She is passionate about creating healthier habits among the Native American Community and hopes her story might inspire more people.

At age 43, Lucero received a stent after having a widowmaker, the informal term for a heart attack that involves a 100% blockage in the biggest artery of the heart. She learned that is important to get to know your body and understand what symptoms are not normal, that is what she considers saved her life.

Heart disease affects Native American populations at a rate of 20% greater than other ethnicities, yet prevention is not a top health priority among Native Americans, Lucero said. She is eager to change that, using the story of her own health journey and sharing what she’s learned about creating healthier versions of traditional Native American dishes. You can visit for more information.