Monday, February 1, 2016

Why I'm Wearing Red to Work on Friday, February 5, 2016

My maternal grandfather was dead at 47 of a heart attack.
My paternal grandmother was dead at 54 of complications related to heart disease.
And my mother? She had triple bypass surgery in her early 60's, which I am certain prevented her own early death.
My family history puts me at higher risk for heart disease. This, combined with my educational and professional background in public health and medical care, helps keep me very aware of the signs and symptoms of heart disease in women. I keep an eye on my blood pressure, talk with my primary care doctor at least once a year about the state of my heart health, and strive to eat a healthy diet balanced by regular exercise.
Unfortunately, many people are not as aware - either of their own risk profile,  or the indicators of coronary heart disease and its relatives.
So, in recognition of the American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day, I will be wearing red all day on Friday, February 5, 2016.
But I'm not stopping there. The #pinkification of America has taught me that wearing a certain color isn't enough to make change. So I'm also helping to organize #GoRed activities at my workplace, like free blood pressure screenings, and I will be sharing content about heart disease and how it has touched me via my @GLKinder account on Twitter.
I invite you to wear red on Friday, February 5th in honor of all the men and women who have fought - or are currently fighting - heart disease. Please also consider taking a moment to explain to the people around you why you are wearing red on this day. Wearing red is great. Explaining WHY will help raise just a little more awareness about the need for better heart health care, which is even better.

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