Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why I’m Also Sporting Black on Wear Red Day

Wear Red Day is February 1, 2013.  Will you please join me?

Three years ago, I became a Go Red for Women ambassador for the American Heart Association (AHA) Northwest Ohio.  AHA defines the movement as “...a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health as well as band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges women to know their risk for heart disease and use the tools that that Go Red For Women provides to take action to reduce their personal risk.

As a Go Red for Women ambassador, I alert policy makers on issues related to heart healthiness, and help raise the public’s awareness of the Go Red for Women campaign. When possible, I also attend local Go Red events, some of which raise funds for AHA.

The snapshot below (Yes, I’m the blond in the back row...) is from the 2011 Go Red photo shoot--resulting in various television spots and billboard ads, locally.  All served to promote the Go Red for Women effort.

Photo courtesy of American Heart Association Northwest Ohio

Several things initially drew me to the Go Red For Women initiative. You see, one in three women suffer from heart disease, and at that time, I could totally relate: I had lost my beloved grandmother a few years earlier as a result of heart disease. My mother had recently been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia, and my mother-in-law was suffering from congestive heart disease. This past fall, my volunteer efforts took on added meaning for me--following my lovely, fifty-year old sister-in-law’s untimely death from stroke.

Tomorrow (Friday, February 1) is national Wear Red Day. It’s a fabulous way to raise awareness even further.  I’m wearing a favorite red cardigan of mine--even donning it with a chic red belt and AHA red dress sparkle pin I recently purchased.

This year, however, I’m pairing my cherished red wardrobe pieces with a classic black (rather than red) dress.  Here’s why:

I’m sporting my red + black it in memory of my Mamaw (Irene).  I’m doing it for my mother (Carol), who now has a pacemaker. Dedicating it to my mother-in-law (Virginia), whose health has declined so significantly--as a result of congestive heart failure--that she is now totally bed-ridden. And, with sadness still heavy in my heart, I’m wearing both black and red on February 1 following the death of my dear sister-in-law (Becky). I do it passionately--for it is my way to share with other women 
why heart healthiness is so very, very important. 

Perhaps, you will join me in my quest tomorrow to raise awareness about women’s heart health.  I sure hope so!

Love & peace.  T.