If you follow me at all, you know that last year was both life shattering and changing for me as I became suddenly sick and entered a very desperate situation as my heart went into failure. Brought on suddenly by a virus, I went from the flu to critical care, with a visit to the hospital that lasted 16 days. During my stay in the hospital, I was diagnosed with Myocarditis and Pericarditis, and nearly 1 year later am working through my recovery.
Since March 2017, I have become very vocal about heart health for 2 reasons:
1.) heart disease can be avoided with education and lifestyle changes
2.) should you get into a heart emergency, you are more likely to bounce back (like I did) if you are healthy upon diagnosis. It was because of my healthy and active lifestyle that my heart was able to bounce back and is on track to make a full recovery.
Sharing my story and educating people on the dangers and symptoms of both heart disease and stroke can save lives, as mine was saved hearing the stories of others, just a year ago.
So, what is this National Go Red for Women Day about you ask? And I get it. What's the big deal?
The leader killer of women in the United State is heart disease, but the beauty of this whole thing is that it can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes, but most women have no idea the impact that heart health has on their life and how quickly heart disease can absolutely ravage your health and your life.
"In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women.
Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women."
Since beginning "National Wear Red Day," American Heart Association has been able to see:
- 6 out of 10 women change their diets
- 40% of women to check their cholesterol levels
- 1/3 of women have talked to their doctor about developing heart health plans
- death in women from heart disease as decreased by 30% in the past 10 years
- and 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke daily (* stats provided from Go Red for Women webpage)
I recently had the opportunity to share my story on the radio along with a few things I have learned over the last year walking through my recovery, you can listen to the interview here.
In addition, as a 2018 South Puget Sound American Heart Association Ambassador, I have the incredible opportunity to share my story at this year's Go Red Luncheon and I would love it if you would join me. The Go Red Luncheon is Thursday, March 29th at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA. You can purchase your ticket to the luncheon by clicking here.
To learn more about Go Red for Women and ways that you can get involved, visit the national website by clicking here or visit goredforwomen.org and don't forget to wear your Red on Friday!
Let's get the word out about heart disease and stroke and save some lives.
all photos courtesy of Ike and Tash Photo