Star Jones was the keynote speaker today at the Philadelphia Go Red for Women Luncheon. She had open heart surgery three years ago and is now a national spokesperson. She shared that she used to think that heart disease was an old white guy thing. Sit on that for minute.
Go Red began ten years ago when women realized that heart disease killed them too. At that time, no one was talking about women heart health.
Heart disease is the #1 cause of death of men. It is the #1 cause of death of women. It takes the lives of 350,000 adults every year, more than all of the cancers combined.
According to the Mayo Clinic, heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart, including diseases of your blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); heart infections; and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects).
Here’s a stat that I didn’t hear today. Almost 100% of all boys and girls will grow up to be . . . men and women.
Go Red is all about prevention, which is a good thing. So why don’t we start with the kids again? If all of the boys and girls will one day grow up to face heart disease, and along the way, some of them will drop dead from sudden cardiac arrest (because heart disease is the #1 killer of student athletes), shouldn’t we start this awareness with our kids? Shouldn’t we go Krimson for Kids?
I’m positive that it will be easier to teach a little girl to eat sweets in moderation or to exercise. Her heart will also avoid all those years of inactivity, fried foods and other bad stuff we do to our hearts. Isn’t this the real message of Star Jones?
It was a great lunch. The AHA deserves tons of credit for this lifesaving and imaginative awareness campaign. However, I can’t help but think how much more powerful and effective this effort would be if every woman was sitting next to her school-aged daughter next year.