St. Petersburg, Fl – During the American Heart Association’s Go Red Luncheon in Tampa on Friday, four women will be recognized for their heart stories. Among them is Lauren Evanovich, an Assistant Professor at USF.

Evanovich was born with a heart defect and had her first open-heart surgery at 10 months. “I had a great growing up and I was kind of able to be myself and be a normal kid,” said Evanovich. But in her early 20’s, she noticed something was wrong. “Extreme fatigue, all of the time,” she recalls.

A visit to her cardiologist revealed a problem with her aortic valve, which led to a second open heart surgery.

Evanovich told her heart story at a casting call held by the American Heart Association (AHA) and Florida Hospital. She and three others are now the faces of AHA’s Tampa Bay Go Red For Women movement. And Evanovich says she’s happy to spread the word about heart health.

“80-percent of heart disease is preventable,” said Evanovich. “So if we can know our numbers and know what’s normal, then we can really know what’s abnormal and seek out assistance and help.”

There are more casting calls planned. If you’d like to share your heart story email .