What It's All About....

Deanne Stein Health Guide
  • I’ve been so busy preparing for February, now that it’s here, it’s time to sit back and remember what it’s all about. This month is National Heart Month. While I am stroke survivor, I’m still passionate about what it means. Each year the American Heart Association uses this month to make people, especially women, more aware about heart disease. The Go Red for Women Campaign is part of that effort and gets bigger and better each year.

    Heart disease is the number one killer in women, not only in my state of West Virginia, but in the nation. Because of that fact, our state chapter has gone above and beyond this year. In fact, I recently had the honor of being photographed in a statewide billboard. I stood with First Lady Gayle Manchin and Secretary of State Betty Ireland. But I was even more honored to stand tall with other heart and stroke survivors. Many of us even told our stories for a special video called “Heart of the Mountains.” It amazed me so much at how many women heart disease touches. Just like my stroke, I learned heart disease also can hit anyone at any stage of their life. I met grandmothers, mothers and even small children, who all survived the disease.
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    But the reason we all came together wasn’t just to celebrate our survival, but to also stand together in a massive show of red, to make other women aware of heart disease. That awareness includes knowing how to love your heart. Some risk factors for heart disease can be in your control. Those factors include keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, don’t smoke, watch your weight and stay active. Diabetes, age, race and heredity also can be risk factors. I believe the color red and the red dress show that women can band together to improve their heart health and go on to live longer lives. On Friday, February 4th, don’t be surprised if you see a whole lot of red. That’s the day of a national observance created by the American Heart Association. It includes thousands of people wearing red, including employees at more than 3,000 companies, as well as national and local news anchors and talk-show hosts. I, of course, will be one of them.

Published On: February 02, 2006