Ella Mills, better known as Deliciously Ella, joined 100 other successful women at our Women at the Heart of the Matter lunch and auction last Tuesday at the Apothecaries’ Hall in the City of London, to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease in women.

Royal Brompton Cardiologist Surgeon Professor Peter Collins began by explaining how, when asked, the majority of people he surveyed considered breast cancer to be the number one killer of women in Western Europe, when in actual fact it is cardiovascular disease. He explained how cardiac issues present themselves more subtly in women than in men, putting women at greater risk. He implored guests to get themselves tested and make lifestyle changes to lower their risk.

Ella was the perfect spokeswomen for how changing your diet can vastly improve heart health. She spoke bravely about being diagnosed in 2011 with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, a condition that causes the heart rate to increase abnormally rapidly when standing from sitting. Ella also spoke of the effects on her mental wellbeing during the time after her diagnosis, when she withdrew from the world.

Ella went on to describe her transition from not being able to cook and having very little idea about healthy food, to now having a best-selling healthy eating cookbook, a No.1 mobile app, two London delis and a healthy food product line under her belt. Ella explained how this journey to healthier eating reduced the symptoms of her condition and gave her back control. She also spoke of her desire to inspire women through her story and blog.

“The journey has been incredibly inspiring for me. I love empowering people, especially women, to feel great,” she said.

And it seems Ella is doing just that.

Daisy Dunnett, who has been coping with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and is a huge fan of Ella’s, travelled all the way from Aberdeenshire to hear her speak, and was able to meet her after winning one of the fantastic auction lots.

“I love empowering people, especially women, to feel great” – Ella Mills

Daisy said: “My mum booked a ticket before I even knew Ella was speaking. When I heard she’d be there I was so excited. The event was unbelievable and it was really great to meet so many inspiring women. I’ve not been well myself and am in recovery. Ella’s story has really chimed with me as I’ve found nutrition to be a really important part of my recovery. OCD is incredibly debilitating, but I started reading Ella’s blog and her cookbook and it gave me added motivation to focus on other things.”

The lunch was an incredible success for the Charity, raising over £40,000. The funds will be used to buy a piece of diagnostic equipment called an EndoPAT, which will allow cardiologists to test another 100 women each week for signs of cardiovascular disease at Royal Brompton.

The leftover funds will go towards our One Gene, All the Difference appeal to expand the Genetics & Genomics testing service at Royal Brompton, so that families affected by genetic disease can avoid tragedy.

Our Chief Executive, Gill Raikes, MBE said: “I’m delighted at how today went, and would like to say a huge thank you to Helen Putter and Caroline Bault for organising such a fantastic event.

What was great about the speakers was that they didn’t try to make light of cardiovascular disease. They took their audience seriously and their audience took the subject seriously.”