Dravecky wants to raise cholesterol awareness

Friday, Sept. 26

SAN FRANCISCO — Dave Dravecky has long been an inspirational figure. Now his gift for motivation is taking on a fresh dimension.

Dravecky, the ex-Giant who’s renowned for overcoming cancer to return to pitching in 1989, has begun urging people to undergo cholesterol screenings as part of National Cholesterol Education Month.

Saturday, Dravecky will be at AT&T Park as part of an event sponsored by AstraZeneca in which free cholesterol screenings will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Lefty O’ Doul Plaza.

Dravecky, whose personal saga touched so many hearts, again offers a tale everybody can relate to as he emphasizes the importance of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

Dravecky recalled playing with one of his grandsons for a couple of hours about three years ago. After playtime ended, Dravecky collapsed on the nearest couch, thoroughly exhausted.

“I felt like I had just been in a major prize fight,” Dravecky said. “And here’s why: At that point in time I was pushing 280 pounds. I was tired of feeling miserable. I was not eating right. I was not exercising. I knew that my cholesterol was high.”

After that experience, Dravecky consulted his physician and took the necessary steps toward changing his lifestyle and improving his cholesterol levels. “Today, I can tell you my life is so much better because of making those choices, and I’m in a much better place healthwise to be the grandpa I want to be,” he said.

Dravecky also wants to raise awareness regarding the link between high cholesterol and heart disease. His wife, Jan, lost both of her parents to heart attacks, which further sharpened the family’s attention to maintaining health.

Cholesterol screening, Dravecky said, is “a really easy thing to do and a very important thing to do in relationship to heart disease. Obviously there are things that can be done to prevent that.”

Chris Haft

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