Mecklenburg County commissioner Valerie Woodard died of a rare blood disorder, board chairman Jennifer Roberts said Sunday.
Roberts said she spent time Sunday with Woodard's family, who told her the 56-year-old died of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, or TTP. The disorder causes blood clots; about 1,200 new cases occur in the United States each year, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Woodard's family could not be reached on Sunday. But Roberts said Woodard's husband wanted more people to know about the disorder.
The Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said it occurs suddenly with no clear cause and lasts for days, weeks or even months.
Symptoms include paleness or jaundice, purplish spots on the skin or mucous membranes, fatigue and weakness, a fast heart rate or shortness of breath. The institute said most people recover when treated promptly.
Woodard, who had served as a county commissioner since 2002, died Friday, one day after she was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital. Her son had told the Observer she had complained of dizziness.
A wake is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Alexander Funeral Home, 1424 Statesville Ave. in Charlotte. A public viewing is set for 11 a.m. Thursday, followed by a funeral at noon at St. Paul Baptist Church, 1401 Allen St., also in Charlotte.
Commissioners will pay tribute Tuesday to their colleague, who was known for her strong stand on social issues, including the creation of the county's HIV/AIDS advisory council.
Roberts said commissioners and members of the public will be invited to speak at the board's meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in uptown. The public also can leave flowers or other memorials at Woodard's seat on the dias.
Woodard was running unopposed for a fourth term in office. Commissioner and leaders of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party said they'll wait until after this week's memorial services before they begin the search for a District 3 replacement.