By Brian W. Donnelly, M.D. — Pediatric Alliance, North Hills Division
Friday, February 7th is the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day!
In the United States, heart disease causes more deaths in women than all forms of cancer combined. Wearing red is one way to raise awareness about this important health issue.
All too often, mothers are busy taking care of everyone — except themselves. Attention must be paid to the pump that makes such care possible. JoAnne Klimovich Harrop explains:
It’s the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women National Wear Red Day. For the past 10 years, the Heart Association has set aside this day to get the message across that heart disease is not only an older woman’s concern.
One mom I have known for many years shares her important story:
“My message would be for every woman to wear red and to realize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women,” Kutzer says. “I would urge them to be proactive and to pay attention to the signals their body is sending them. Women in their 30s and 40s don’t think heart disease can happen to them. I was 48, and it happened to me.”
It changed in one day. Hours after a standard stress test and no symptoms, she received a life-altering call.
“They told me, ‘Melinda, a significant portion of your heart isn’t getting enough blood,’ ” Kutzer says.
A stent had to be placed in the left anterior descending artery in her heart because of an almost 70-percent blockage.
“Getting that stent did save my life,” she says. “Had I not been proactive … who knows what might have happened? Heart disease kills one in three women, and I am determined that it won’t kill me. I take my medication every day and will continue to take it forever. I am happy to share my story. If it helps just one woman, then it will have been worth it. Women are always so busy that they often don’t take time for themselves.”
I can attest to the remarkable job Mrs. Kutzer has done raising her children, so I am particularly glad that she sought medical attention. As I am sure her boys would agree, her loving heart is a most valuable family asset. We are grateful that it beats on!
Tomorrow, let’s GO RED FOR WOMEN!