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Marcelle Epley

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Participant's Name: Marcelle Epley
Occupation: President & CEO, Long Beach Community Foundation


Please share how you have been personally touched by cardiovascular disease and/or why you decided to dance in this year's event. 

MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center has personally touched our family many times, from the birth of our two boys (at Miller Children's & Women's), to outpatient and overnight stays. However, by far the most life-changing experience we encountered was when my husband Jeff suffered heart failure in 2014. In seemingly good health and having just welcomed the birth of our second son, Jeff entered Long Beach Medical Center's emergency room after passing out from an extremely elevated heart rate. The doctors and nurses reacted swiftly but he was going downhill very quickly. During efforts to stabilize him in the ER, he suffered a heart attack. For the next several days, the heart failure began to really take its toll as his body started shut down from serious kidney failure, liver failure and diabetes.  Thankfully, the doctors and nurses of the Heart & Vascular Institute continued to pursue the best solutions and recommended an angioplasty. However, during the angioplasty procedure, Jeff suffered an episode of ventricular tachycardia; the most dangerous irregular heart rhythm if its kind. We were warned if this happened, it would complicate the procedure, further threaten his life, and could cause death. The experienced cardiologists saved him again and were ultimately successful at clearing three blockages in two arteries. Jeff truly received the best of care as did I, as I tried to grapple with this new reality our family was facing. The hospitalist visited, a dietitian helped us to understand the new world of type II diabetes, the hospital psychologist came by to give me tips on how to deal with the trauma and talk to our children about what was happening, and cardiologists supported us with options of ongoing care. This was truly a family of caring individuals who wrapped their arms around our family and had a vested interested in seeing Jeff get better.

After being discharged 25 pounds lighter, Jeff took full advantage of the Memorial's Heart and Vascular Institute post care facility and he quickly got back to fighting strength. Today, he is a picture of health and regularly enjoys cycling, walking, jogging and keeping up with our nine and five-year-old boys.

Having experienced what we went through with my husband's heart failure, I was even more moved knowing that the department benefiting from the fundraiser was the Heart & Vascular Institute. While this investment will take me away from family activities and follow a 70.4 Ironman the week before, there was no way I could say no, especially given all the immediate cheering from our family and friends. It's going to be a fun journey and I look forward to having our impact help the next family who needs the Long Beach Medical Center family like we did.

We are eternally grateful to Long Beach Medical Center's Heart & Vascular Institute and their staff. From the bottom of our "hearts," thank you.

About the Event

MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center Foundation’s annual gala - Dancing for Our Stars (DFOS) - has become one of the hottest philanthropic events in Long Beach. 

The 2020 DFOS “The Beat Goes On” Gala is rescheduled to take place on September 11, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach and will benefit MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute. The event will feature dancers from the community who either have been personally touched by heart disease or wish to support leading-edge heart and vascular care in our community.  Each dancer will partner with a professional dancer or significant other to choreograph and perform an original dance to an upbeat, popular song from their favorite era.  Attendees will have an opportunity to support their favorite dancer(s) by “voting with their dollars” before and during the event as dancers vie for the coveted DFOS Champion Crystal Award.

Tickets are on sale now and sponsorship/underwriting/program advertising opportunities are also available. We look forward to celebrating this fun and memorable evening with you!

 Sponsorship Opportunities

For more information, click here to visit the official Dancing for Our Stars - “The Beat Goes On” website.

Still have questions? Contact us at [email protected] or 562.933.1660. 


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