Know the Signs, Fight for Victory

Jewelry Designer Living with Marfan Creates Necklace to Commemorate Awareness Month 

A Los-Angeles-based jewelry designer and member of the Marfan community has created a specially designed necklace, the Have A Heart Locket, in honor of Marfan Awareness Month with 100% of profits from sales donated to The Marfan Foundation to support those affected by genetic aortic and vascular conditions. Emily will also donate a Have A Heart Locket necklace to be auctioned at the Foundation’s HeartWorks Gala in Chicago on February 23.

Emily in her hospital room recovering from aortic surgery.
Photo courtesy of Emily Wheeler’s Instagram

“I am here to share something very personal that I haven’t shared much about in the past,” Emily said in an Instagram post. “I have a genetic disorder called Marfan Syndrome. I was diagnosed when I was three and have been lucky enough to have exceptional healthcare ever since. The biggest concern with Marfan is the aorta which becomes enlarged over time and can tear which can be fatal. At a certain point, the doctors will recommend open heart surgery to replace the enlarged section of the aorta to prevent dissection. That point came for me this fall/winter and I’m now embarking on my recovery journey.”  

Emily underwent open heart surgery in January 2024 to replace a section of her enlarged aorta. Her gratitude for access to the best health care drove her to create this unique piece.  

Known for creating bespoke and couture jewelry that “colors outside the lines,” Emily is a GIA trained expert on colored gemstones and works with lapidaries and jewelers across the world to create these unique pieces. She draws inspiration for her colorful designs from a sophisticated mix of art and pop culture.

Made from 17.6g 18k yellow gold, 2.68ct sapphire, .66ct amethyst, the Have a Heart Locket comes with a chain measuring 16-18″ long. This fine jewelry item is available on Emily’s website by clicking here. Emily is making a 20% reduced price available to community members who use the code MARFAN20.  The Have A Heart necklace will be part of the live auction during the Foundation’s February 23 Chicago HeartWorks Gala. For more information and ticket information, visit, Bid on this item here. For more information, contact Kara Burke, for details. 

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The Marfan Foundation is a nonprofit organization that saves lives and improves the quality of life of individuals with genetic aortic and vascular conditions including Marfan, Loeys-Dietz, and Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. Our vision is a world in which everyone with genetic aortic and vascular conditions can live their best life.

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