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Meet Julia Palma, Cardiac Nurse & GO RED FOR WOMEN Runner

by Jude Jacob Kayton March 03, 2020

Meet Julia Palma, Cardiac Nurse & GO RED FOR WOMEN Runner

About me

I am from Troy, New York, and I am currently living in a suburb outside of Albany, NY. I have been a nurse for ten years.  Six of those years I spent caring for critically ill patients in the cardiac care unit . Now, I work in a cardiac catheterization lab at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. 

After nursing school, I started working on an oncology/hospice floor. The thought of cardiac nursing never crossed my mind until a personal experience changed my perspective. One ordinary day in September, my boyfriend and I were working out at the local gym when he started complaining of a headache. Walking over to the bathroom, he collapsed onto the floor. I ran over to him. He was blue and not responding. I had just started working as a nurse; he was the first person I ever had to resuscitate. He suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to St. Peters's cardiac critical care unit, where he was in a coma for a month; he was 27 years old.

One of the worst experiences of my life transformed my nursing career and introduced me to the cardiac field. 

A typical day for a cardiac nurse

The amazing thing about nursing is that every day is different. A typical day starts at 7:00AM, prepping the patients for procedures, assessing lab tests, getting a report on the patients from the night staff, and checking the schedule for the day. If a person is having an active heart attack and needs immediate intervention, then we drop everything and respond. During an emergency situation, my thoughts are clear, my adrenaline is pumping, and I know exactly what to do to help the patient survive. Days are long and busy, and, sometimes, simple tasks like eating lunch and using the bathroom are not possible, but we're saving lives and supporting patients and their families through challenging times.


The American Heart Association’s “GO RED FOR WOMEN” campaign is so important, because it encourages awareness about heart disease and stroke in women, and aids in saving lives. Heart disease and heart attack have been predominantly associated with men, and men have been the subject of research. Heart disease is not a new diagnosis, it can affect any person at any age, but it is important to understand that it also kills many women.

Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths in women yearly. This campaign is creating and shaping a community of women, who are working together to help improve the lives of women all over the world.


Heart disease and stroke in women

Heart disease and stroke claim the lives of women all over the world. According to the AHA, 80% of cardiovascular diseases in women can be prevented with education and action. It is so important to raise awareness, because cardiovascular disease can go misdiagnosed in women. Women don’t always have “typical symptoms,” and the symptoms that they do report are very different from those of men. 

2020 Chicago Marathon on the AHA “Run For Heart Team:”

I am beyond honored to be able to represent the American Heart Association during my first marathon. Chicago 2020 will be my first full marathon, making it such a milestone for me. I am a half marathoner and always have wanted to run a full marathon, but my insecurities and doubts got into my head. This October, along with my sister Nicole, I will become a marathoner. This organization is so close to my heart, not only because of my nursing background, but also because I know how it is to be a family member whose loved one has been affected by heart disease and stroke. My grandmother Nicolina was the definition of strength. She immigrated to the USA from a small town in Naples, Italy, with her three small children, not knowing any English, leaving behind her extended family, and the life she had created there. She passed away a couple of years ago from the effects of a stroke. This October, I will run for the AHA in memory of my Nona and her strength.  


What is your favorite FRÉ product and why?

I suffer from a condition calledurticarial vasculitis, causing inflammation, redness, and hives at times. Due to the inflammation from this condition, my skin tends to be very sensitive, and I often have a red area over my nose and upper cheeks. My absolute favorite FRÉ product isGLOW ME. Before finding this product, I could never find a tinted moisturizer that would give me coverage and not irritate my skin. GLOW ME gives me a natural glow and helps me to cover this area without having to use foundations and other makeup products. The tint is so natural, and it never leaves me feeling greasy or oily. 

Rapid Fire:

  • Favorite Exercise:A nice long run or a high-intensity cardio workout, with weight training and cardio
  • What comes to mind when you think of FRÉ?Beauty, Trees, Strength
  • What are you most excited about right now?My 6-month-old Australian Shepherd puppy, Milo, and having the opportunity to run the Chicago Marathon this October, representing the AHA.
  • What’s something you’d still love to learn? I would love to be fluent in another language.
  • If you were a hashtag what would you be?#Hearthero #Worldtraveler #RunwithHEART #Strongasanurse
  • What does sweat mean to you? Sweat means strength. Sweat means self-love and empowerment. Sweat means never giving up, fighting through every emotional and mental struggle. 
  • What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received in your life?Rid your life of negativity by letting go of what you can’t change. 
  • What is an issue that you wish we spoke about more often?Health-related issues that affect women such as heart disease. 
  • What does it mean to be a woman today?Accepting your body, knowing your self-worth, finding beauty within yourself and achieving whatever you set your mind to through hard work and determination.
  • What’s one skincare tip you swear by:Moisturize every day, even if it means using your FRÉ moisturizer on your lunch break!

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