Stories of Impact

Norma Cummings's Story

To say Rochester-native Norma Cummings has a busy schedule would be an understatement"You could say I’ve always been an active person," said Norma, who is a volunteer for the Geva Theater, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and salvation army; a member of the Monroe Community Hospital Auxiliary Board, a mother of three children and a grandmother to seven. "Although I’m retired now, I may actually be busier now than ever before."

She doesn't have time for something to be slowing her down, which makes her serious heart condition particularly inconvenient. But what is now inconvenient was once almost fatal.

When Norma first started having chest pains, she didn't think much of them. It wasn't until an evening when she felt especially off that it became clear the pain wasn't something to be ignored. She went to St. Mary’s Hospital, where she ended up having a heart attack. "Boy, was I lucky," Norma says. "If I hadn’t gone to the hospital that day, I wouldn’t be here today."

Norma went right back to being active, walking the Greece Ridge Mall and the surrounding neighborhoods. However, after three angioplasties, three stents and a bypass surgery, she knew she needed more help. Norma’s cardiologist sent her to see therapists at the Unity Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. The therapists at Unity helped her develop the exercise regimen she needed for long-term wellness. In the beginning, she exercised while wearing an EKG monitor, which the staff used to monitor her vital signs and track her progress. Today, she exercises completely on her own and can easily get through her routine in less than 45 minutes.

"To me, it’s simple," Norma says. "It’s a choice. This is what I need to do to stay healthy and be able to do all of the things that I enjoy doing, like volunteering, traveling and being able to get out and enjoy life Exercise is good for everyone, but it’s essential for someone who has had my experience. I needed some help getting into a regular routine, and it’s one that I’ve maintained for more than 20 years."

Because Care Matters
Today, Norma can enjoy all her passions in life because of the exceptional care given to her through Rochester Regional Health, and the support of people like you. With your continued support, we can realize our vision to give every person in our community the resources to live a better, healthier life.

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