Go Red for Women…Taking it Personally

In 2004, cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 women in the United States, annually…yet women were not paying attention. Many thought of heart disease as a risk specific to men and even dismissed it as an “older man’s disease.”

To begin to raise awareness of heart disease and its tremendous toll among women the American Heart Association (AHA) created Go Red For Women. The initiative is social, passionate and emotional, but is also designed to educate women and raise awareness of heart disease as the #1 killer of women. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to take charge of their personal health.

Helping to lead the charge are Kathy and Jody Victor, IBOs living in Canton, Ohio. The Victors have been involved with and supporters of the American Heart Association for a number of years. In a recent article in an area Go Red publication about their work, Kathy explains: “We realized it was an incredibly worthy cause that was well worth our time and efforts.” Jody serves on the American Heart Association board. Kathy’s involvement is personal and significant. “I personally became involved with Circle of Red because of the history of heart disease within my own family. My father passed away at 75 from a massive heart attack. My mother has had numerous heart attacks, as well as triple bypass heart surgery and several stents. Both of my brothers have had heart attacks and either stents of a triple bypass. I am the only member of my immediate family who does not suffer from hert disease, although I do have hereditary high LDL levels of my cholesterol. So the mission of the American Heart Association is, indeed, very near and dear to my heart.”

Kathy was recently recognized as a member of the Stark County, Ohio, Circle of Red, a distinction given to an elite group of women who have the influence and resources to significantly impact the community by making a personal commitment to help find a cure for heart disease.

More about Go Red For Women and its groundbreaking work, visit: http://www.goredforwomen.org/about_the_movement.aspx. Be sure to take your own “Go Red Heart Checkup” while you’re there!

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