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The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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CSU student wants Ellen Degeneres to help right blood clots

One CSU student has a message for her favorite celebrity — “Hey Ellen, are you listening?”

Junior journalism major Leslie Bartley is rallying support to call attention to one of the top three causes of death in the country — blood clots, sometimes referred to as pulmonary embolism — through a campaign she created called the Clot Must Be Fought.

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“The Clot Must Be Fought was created because after seeing my sister and best friend endure this emergency, I couldn’t bear to watch anyone else go through it,” Bartley said.

Bartley’s little sister was on a skiing trip and was having trouble breathing last year. She was rushed to the ER after she passed out and was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism.  Her best friend also was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism this summer, along with two other people she knows.

Pulmonary embolism refers to a blockage of the main artery of the lung by a blood clot that has travelled from elsewhere in the body, typically the legs, and it obstructs the lungs, according to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

“It feels as though there is an elephant sitting on your chest,” Bartley said. “You can’t breathe, and you don’t know why.”

And she plans to spread the word.

“We would like to get the attention of the mainstream media, starting with local news, and growing to statewide and even national,” Bartley said. “The ultimate goal, or our mission, would be to reach the ‘Ellen DeGeneres’ show … In order to reach the most people in the age group that we are trying to target, Ellen would be the best media outlet. She has a voice and we need her to use it.”

One out of every three people diagnosed with pulmonary embolism will die and more than 600,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. It is one of the top three causes of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer, according to the National Blood Clot Alliance.

Common pulmonary embolism symptoms are a sudden, sometimes bloody cough, sudden shortness of breath during a resting state, chest pain, and rapid breathing and heart rate, according to the UCLA Lung Cancer Department.

Sometimes sudden death is the only symptom of pulmonary embolism, which is what makes it so dangerous, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

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“I would like to make this a permanent campaign,” Bartley said. “I am making as big of an impact as I can with one person. But my vision can’t be reached without more people.”

Trying to raise money for Stop the Clot, the National Blood Clot Alliance is a big goal, according to Bartley. Funding is very low even on a national level, and Bartley said she wants to help.

The Clot Must Be Fought is recently started selling $2 bracelets at the moment to help raise awareness and funds.

“There are so many things CSU students can do to help,” Bartley said. She gave examples such as simply “liking” their Facebook page, helping post fliers, join in their video shoot, helping organize a race, or even just standing up in class and telling others about The Clot Must Be Fought.

“Seeing as it is just two college students trying to make a difference,” Bartley said. “The more people we have behind us, the more impact we will be able to make.”

Collegian Writer Corrie Sahling can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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