"Go Red for Women" Campaign Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Anthony Sanzeri, NBC Right Now Website Manager - email
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.
the past decade awareness that heart disease is the number one killer
of women has gone up while deaths from the disease have gone down.
women with the same heart condition had very different experiences with
their diagnosis and it could be because one woman was diagnosed
before the campaign began.
Spending time with her twenty-one-year-old daughter is something Michelle Burke was told would never happen.
Fifteen years ago she was a busy mother of three. Her usually perky personality was bogged down by extreme fatigue.
her sister had died at age nineteen from a heart condition, she felt it
was time to see if she also had a troubled heart.
went to actually 2 different doctors and they said to me, it's just
because you have young children, it's your season in life, when they
grow up you won't be tired anymore."
Months later a different
doctor agreed to take a look at Michelle's heart, and when they called
with the results -- she was told she had only a handful of years left.
doctor called and said Michelle, your heart is in terrible shape. You
need to go to the hospital tomorrow at 7 am and be prepared to stay a
In the time since Michelle's diagnosis the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign has made great strides in
raising awareness of women's heart problems, for both women and their
That increased awareness likely saved Mary Leah's life.
think I would have been a 30 year old mom pushing a stroller, and they
would have found out post-mortum that I had heart disease."
Michelle, Mary Leah was also a busy mother who was constantly tired. But
when she told her doctor about her mother's heart condition, he took
her family history seriously and immediately ordered additional tests.
"It was pretty world shattering and life altering to find my heart was functioning at 10% of what it should be."
women are living with their condition rather than succumbing to it, something they say wouldn't have been possible without the awareness and
research Go Red has created.
percent of people who registered with the Go Red campaign made a
healthy lifestyle change, like changing their eating or exercise habits
or getting their cholesterol checked.
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