Canyon Lake resident nominated as one of six “Woman of Impact” by American Heart Association

Ilyssa DeCasperis was nominated as one of six “Woman of Impact” by the American Heart Association of Southern California. Photo provided by Ilyssa DeCasperis.

Canyon Lake resident Ilyssa (Esgar) DeCasperis was nominated as one of six “Woman of Impact” by the American Heart Association of Southern California. As a “Woman of Impact” DeCasperis joined the campaign to raise funds and awareness for cardiac disease and women’s heart health.

Cardiac disease is personal to DeCasperis. After a heart attack and open-heart surgery, her mother died of cardiovascular disease at the age of 65. Her grandfather suffered three heart attacks and passed away at the age of 69.

At the age of 50 and unbeknownst to DeCasperis, she suffered three or four silent heart attacks before finally being diagnosed with cardiac disease and having a stent placed in January 2017.

In March of 2020, DeCasperis had open-heart surgery. Recently, DeCasperis was accepted into the Scripps Heart Transplant Department where she will be monitored until such time that she needs a heart transplant.

“I’m grateful for the support of my family, friends, and the community of Canyon Lake,” DeCasperis said. “One of the criteria of being accepted into a heart transplant program is having a strong support system through the process.”

DeCasperis is on a mission to educate women on the signs and symptoms of cardiac disease and how they differ from the signs and symptoms in men. DeCasperis is making herself available to speak to various groups of women who are interested in learning more about cardiac disease.

Her awareness campaign includes a goal of raising $25,000 for the American Heart Association to help fund additional research for cardiac disease in women. Her campaign runs through April 7.

In partnership with PZA Oven Fired Goodness, DeCasperis is hosting a Comedy Night fundraiser on Saturday, April 2. “Tickets will be available in March, once all the details are finalized.”

DeCasperis is also accepting donations at All donations go to the American Heart Association and are tax-deductible.

In support of DeCasperis and American Heart Month, CPR Training Centers of Canyon Lake is donating 100 percent of its proceeds through the month of February to the American Heart Association.

To learn more about DeCasperis’ campaign or to book a speaking engagement, email [email protected].

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death in American women, claiming over 400,000 lives each year, or one death every 80 seconds, according to the American Heart Association.


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