Lechleiter Featured Speaker at Heart Ball

Updated:Apr 8,2014


John LechleiterINDIANAPOLIS - One year after undergoing heart surgery, Lilly CEO John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., will be the featured speaker at the American Heart Association’s 29th annual Heart Ball on May 17.

Lechleiter was diagnosed with a dilated aorta, requiring surgery in 2013. The condition occurs when there is a bulge or ballooning of the larger artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and abdomen. If left untreated, there was a possibility that the aorta could burst.

“I was not experiencing any symptoms, so the diagnosis came as a big surprise to me and my family,” Lechleiter said. “It reinforced to me why heart disease is often referred to as the silent killer, and it strengthened my personal resolve to support organizations such as the American Heart Association that are doing great work in the battle against heart disease and stroke.”

Lechleiter, who took a two-month medical leave of absence from Lilly for surgery and recovery, will share details of his experience to more than 600 guests at the Heart Ball, which will be held at the J.W. Marriott.

“The advances in fighting heart disease over the past several decades are remarkable,” Lechleiter said. “From new procedures and medications, to life-saving research and education programs, the progress made has significantly impacted the quality and longevity of life, and that is work that must continue.”

The Heart Ball annually raises more than $600,000 for the American Heart Association’s mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Information about sponsorship or ticket sales is available at indyheartball.org.

Media Contact:
Tim Harms, (317) 732-4714
tim.harms@heart.org