Massachusetts heart disease survivor shares story on XLO Morning Show

Chrissy Gaffney, a heart disease survivor and American Heart Association volunteer, appeared on the XLO Morning Show with Jen Carter and Frank Foley today to discuss her personal journey and promote the upcoming 2024 Central Massachusetts Heart and Stroke Walk.

Listen to the full interview here:

Gaffney, who grew up in Westborough and now resides in Worcester, shared her lifelong battle with heart issues. Diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at age 12, she underwent successful surgery and went on to lead an active life, even being inducted into the Worcester State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022.

However, in her mid-40s, Gaffney faced new challenges when she was diagnosed with atrial flutter, a type of irregular heartbeat. Now in her late 50s, she continues to manage her condition, including bouts of atrial fibrillation.

“It’s crucial for women to understand their heart health risks,” Gaffney emphasized during the interview. “Many people don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States.”

As a dedicated volunteer for the American Heart Association, Gaffney has advocated for healthier school lunches, increased funding for stroke awareness, and tobacco cessation programs. She has also been instrumental in teaching hands-only CPR to community members.

Gaffney encouraged listeners to participate in the upcoming Central Massachusetts Heart and Stroke Walk, scheduled for Saturday, June 8, at Fitton Field, Holy Cross in Worcester. The event, which includes a 5K walk, will feature family activities, CPR demonstrations, a Kids Fun Run, and inspiring stories from cardiac arrest survivors.

“Events like these not only raise awareness but also provide crucial funding for research and community programs,” Gaffney noted.

The Heart and Stroke Walk will open its doors at 8:30 a.m., with the walk commencing at 10:15 a.m. Those interested in participating or donating can find more information at