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Lou DiMaggio began his career in New York City in the mid-eighties as a stand-up comedian. This led to acting jobs in Film, TV, and national commercials. After moving to Los Angeles in 1989 Lou added writing and producing to his resume. By the end of the nineties Lou had toured across America, co-authored a Broadway Show and won an Emmy.
In March of 2005 his continuous career progress met with an unexpected setback. While writing and producing a network television show in Las Vegas Lou noticed that the fatigue he felt was unusually powerful - even for someone who worked under stress and deadlines all the time. But despite these obvious warning signs Lou refused to believe it was anything other than just the result of working hard and putting in some long hours.
In fact he was forty-eight hours away from a heart attack and he never saw it coming. He could have easily seen it if he would have heeded the warning signs but during the whole experience he kept denying what was really happening.
"It can't be a heart attack. I'm too young, I'm too healthy. This couldn't happen to me."
The circumstances were unusual in that Lou survived and didn't seek medical care for a few days. To say he was lucky is an understatement. Upon his return to Los Angeles he was hospitalized and treated thus ending the first part of his old life and the beginning of his new one as a heart attack survivor.
Lou came away from this experience searching for the reason why he was spared. He eventually found it in a place he could never have dreamed. While still recovering from his heart attack his agent called and asked if he was taking a drug called Plavix. It so happens he was - and the next thing he knew he was sent on an audition for Bristol-Myers Squibb's new "Together We Can Prevail" ad campaign.
They asked him to tell his story just as it happened. He did and got the job, (video below) a national commercial supported by a huge print campaign. Once it started airing there was a groundswell of letters, e-mails, and phone calls. Lou had no idea how powerful his message was and how much it had touched the people who saw it. Many people noted that it was refreshing to see a real guy telling a real story.
This led to Bristol-Myers asking him to share his incredible story with their sales people. It was here that Lou realized the true power of his story and not just for them. The reaction was immediate and emotional and Lou also found that telling his story was incredibly therapeutic. He saw and felt first hand what relaying this extremely personal event meant. The people he met, influenced by his candid approach felt comfortable telling him their stories. It made Lou realize that this was why he was still among us.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in our country. It's hard to find someone who hasn't been touched by this scourge. Lou found himself talking to many of the people he met on these talks who relayed stories about their loved ones. Some had happy endings and some did not but they were all intensely emotional. But the hope and good wishes that these people imparted made Lou realize he was helping.
Hearing these people's experiences made Lou realize that it was important for him to let as many people as possible know that what happened to him could be prevented and further, that if you were lucky enough to survive a catastrophic health issue like Cardiovascular disease that you could go on to lead an absolutely normal life. In fact, in many ways - better. And he managed to deliver this talk with the right blend of information and humor.
2008 turned out to be busy year. Six meetings in six different cites for BMS and other engagements for other pharmaceutical companies including Cephalon and OSI. These other appearances gave Lou a chance to use his experience as a writer and improvisor because the demands of these meetings combined both hosting and impostor skills. He worked very closely with the producers to customize the event to fit their needs.
So whether you want a speaker specific to Cardiovascular Health and Prevention or hosting and customizing your event, your audience will come away with an inspirational, entertaining message that deals with adapting to change and information that is universal to everyone regarding their health, both physical and emotional. As a TV Writer, Performer and Producer Lou lives in the kind of high pressure world your people can relate to. The coping mechanisms and techniques he uses are ones your people can relate to and use in their own lives.