Hartford Area Women Celebrate the Heart In Red

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heart1 (5)heart3 (2)New York heart transplant survivor Lauren Shields had a day off from school Thursday.

The 13-year-old was one of the guest speakers at the American Heart Assn. “Go Red For Women” day-long forum and luncheon at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.

“I feel great,” said the eighth grader. She was among the VIP guests waiting to meet featured speaker, humorist and author Gina Barreca before the luncheon that was part of the day long heart health and education conference. “I have a birthday in six days.”

And what will the teen be doing to celebrate?

“I go to Columbia Medical Center for my annual biopsy” she said with a smile. “But I love goingheart2 (2) for those check-ups because I get to see everybody that took care of me, and I bring everyone heart-shaped cookies.”

The teen, an impetus for organ donor legislation in New York, was one of hundreds who attended the event.

“I will always be indebted to this event for making me aware of my own health,” said Windsor resident Rhonda McCoy, who learned at the event two years ago that her blood pressure was unusually high. “I was 36 and never gave a second thought to the fact that I might have any heart risk,” said McCoy, who like most of the guests was wearing a bright red outfit to celebrate the cause and the day. “I had the free blood pressure screening here and realized that maybe something was not right and that made me get myself to a doctor.”

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