A Big Heart

A Big Heart

A Big Heart is a podcast about living with heart disease. When Mike Papale was 17 years old he was seemingly healthy and being recruited to play basketball in college. On August 24, 2006, while working at a basketball camp, Mike slumped over and went into sudden cardiac arrest. There was no AED on site and doctors have said his chances of survival were one in a million. He was later diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Mike is currently the President & CEO of In A Heartbeat, a nonprofit organization with the mission to prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest. This podcast will dissect the physical and emotional obstacles that a patient endures while living with heart disease. The goal is to help heart disease patients of all ages live a long and normal life!


August 31, 2023 30 mins

Welcome to "A Big Heart," the podcast that shares inspiring stories of resilience, courage, and the power of the human spirit. In each episode, we dive deep into the lives of individuals who have faced incredible challenges and emerged stronger than ever. Join us as we explore the transformative journey of Tamar Gevorkian, a true embodiment of courage and compassion.

In this episode, we have the honor of sitting down with...

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In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Colby Salerno, an extraordinary individual who has not only overcome personal health challenges but is also on the path to becoming a renowned cardiologist.

Dr. Colby Salerno's journey began in middle school when he was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a rare heart condition that threatened to restrict his dreams and passions. Against all odds, Colby refused to let his diagnosis ...

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In the compelling podcast series "A Big Heart," join us as we dive into the extraordinary story of Julieta Valdes and her sister Patty Valdes. In one fateful moment, Julieta's life changed forever when she suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while working out alongside Patty on that unforgettable day, May 3, 2020.

In this episode, we sit down with Julieta and Patty to explore the depths of their experience, from the life...

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January 8, 2022 23 mins

In this episode we sit down with Tori Geiger. Tori is a heart disease patient, former athlete, entrepreneur, and the author of From Vulnerable to Victorious: Turning Your Chronic Illness Into Your Victory Story. Click here to learn more about all of the awesome work Tori is doing.

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I am frustrated. We are losing too many young people to sudden cardiac arrest. In the last 4 days, I have ready stories about 4 kids under the age of 18 who have died. We need to do better. We need to do more to prevent this from happening. CPR and AEDs are not enough. Young people should be getting electrocardiograms to test their hearts.  23,000 youth are affected each year by sudden cardiac arrest. 1 in 300 youth is walking arou...

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In this episode, we sit down with Rob Gentile and hear his amazing story. Rob is a heart attack survivor and a heart transplant survivor. He is also the author of "Quarks of Light," a book about his near death experience and what he saw that opened his heart. To learn more about Rob and purchase his book, visit https://robagentile.com/. 

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In this episode we hear the inspiring life story of Tess Kossow. Tess suffered sudden cardiac arrest on October 10, 2020 and was very lucky to survive. She also is the author of the I'm Very Ferris series, a children's book that opens the conversation of IVF to children. She has more books coming out soon, is launching a podcast, and is an advocate for the American Heart Association! To learn more about Tess or to purchas...

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August 20, 2021 15 mins

In this episode we announce the exciting news that my memoir, A Big Heart is currently available for pre-order. Visit www.abigheartbook.com to place your order!

Here is the book description: 

As a teen, Mike Papale had one dream: to play college basketball. He was laser-focused—training like an Olympic hopeful to make his dream reality. Out of nowhere, his world changed. August 24, 2006, while coaching a summer ca...

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August 17, 2021 21 mins

I had surgery last Thursday, August 12, to replace the generator in my Boston Scientific ICD. In this episode, we talk about my experience with surgery from leading up to the day, the actual surgery, and recovery. 

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July 11, 2021 20 mins

In this episode, we discuss my personal exercise journey after my sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 17. Exercise is an important conversation for heart disease patients and everyone is different. You might not have the same exercise journey as me, but I hope you can learn from some of the things I have experienced and allow them to have a positive impact on your life.  

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July 7, 2021 18 mins

In this episode, we talk about the importance of advocating for your own health. This is an important topic for everyone, not just heart disease patients. It is important to take control of your health and your life. Your doctor should be your teammate and you should be working together so you can live a long and normal life!

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In this episode, we learn the lifelong heart journey of Bob Smith. Bob was born with severe Aortic Stenosis and needed an emergency valvuloplasty when he was two weeks old. In 2016, he had his Aortic Valve and Ascending Aorta replaced which required an intense open heart surgery. Bob is an avid rock climber and is currently in some of the best shape of his life. He has great advice for all heart disease patients about how to get ba...

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In this episode we talk to Denise Redeker about her heart disease journey which started at a young age and ended up resulting in a heart transplant. Denise talks about all of the obstacles she has faced and her incredible recovery which has brought her to being an avid runner and hiker! Denise is also the founder of Heartfelt Help Foundation, a nonprofit organization which aims to assist transplant recipients afford the full scope ...

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In this episode we talk with Betty Neal, a cardiac arrest survivor, and Alan Himelfarb, the Chairman & CEO of Starting Hearts, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado. We hear about Betty's incredible cardiac arrest survival story and her road to recovery. We also learn about how sudden cardiac arrest has had a profound impact on Alan's life and the incredible work Starting Hearts is doing to help save lives!

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In this episode we talk to Brian Simpson. A few years ago, Brian survived a heart attack and he talks about his physical and mental journey to recovery. A great athlete, Brian has gotten himself back into great physical shape. What is more important though, is his mindset!

Click here to learn more about Brian's work as a Life Coach.
Click here to follow Brian on Instagram. 

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March 18, 2021 39 mins

In this episode, we talk with Mark Malekoff who went into sudden cardiac arrest on April 2, 2017. Mark was a high level hockey player and talks about his journey from the day of his cardiac arrest to where he is now. He has an incredible mindset and is a must listen for all!

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March 7, 2021 23 mins

In this episode I talk about how I struggled with weight gain following my cardiac arrest at age 17. I went from eating whatever I wanted and staying fit because of the amount of training I was doing, to eating whatever I wanted and not exercising at all. This led to me gaining a lot of weight and losing a lot of self confidence. I will discuss how I started to work out again, learned how to eat a balanced diet, and regained my sel...

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February 28, 2021 23 mins

In this episode, we discuss losing a sport, activity, hobby, or anything else we are passionate about because of a heart disease diagnosis or a sudden cardiac arrest. My dream in life was to be a college basketball player. It was about to come true before my cardiac arrest and diagnosis when I was told I will never play basketball again.  I discuss the feelings I had in that moment, my decision to stay around basketball in other wa...

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February 21, 2021 25 mins

In this episode we hear the inspiring story about Luke Ferraro. Luke is currently a college freshman and has been living with heart disease since he was in 4th grade.  He shares the obstacles he has overcome on his journey living with heart disease. 

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February 14, 2021 22 mins

In this episode we will discuss In A Heartbeat and our life saving mission. To learn more about In A Heartbeat, visit www.inaheartbeat.org.

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