Tag Archives: Go Red For Women

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.”

Luncheon Is A Celebration Of The Heart

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red32013red2013red22013At first blush, this Valentine’s Day luncheon appeared to be a special gathering for the holiday and the month best known for inspiring many to wear red and celebrate the power of the heart.

And it was, in another kind of way.

More than 500 men and women attended the American Heart Association’s Greater Hartford Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Connecticut Convention Center, an annual fundraiser designed to stress heart health and educate women about the importance of taking care of themselves.

“Women just don’t do it, they make themselves last and take care of everyone else,” said featured speaker Ginger Zimmerman, who underwent a heart transplant 15 years ago. The mother of three was just 32 years old when she knew she did not feel well, but doctors were stumped by what could be wrong. It took four years to finally determine that her heart was failing, and then she had the successful surgery.

“I celebrate life every day,” said the New York resident who has made a regular exercise regime and better eating habits part of her life. “I make plans and goals but don’t stress if they don’t get done when I want them to. You can’t control everything, and that is what you have to give into sometimes.”

Letting go of stress was the order of the day for many who took time off work to attend a variety of seminars and linger over lunch to hear Zimmerman’s story.

“A neighbor of mine comes every year and kept asking me to come, so this year I did,” Ronnie Christiansen said. The 48-year-old Middletown resident admitted she was less than attentive to her own health but she had a friend who suffered a heart attack over the summer, and that was a wake-up call for her.

“It’s true, I think women think nothing will happen to them,” she said. “And then when they don’t feel well, dismiss it because they don’t want to inconvenience the family. We can be so odd sometimes.”

It was also a chance for friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day all day.

“My husband and I are going to dinner tonight to celebrate our love,” said Amanda Morgan, a Windsor resident who had enjoyed makeup sessions and dressing in hats and boas at a photo booth, all activities featured at the event. “And I am going to lunch with my friends here today to celebrate my heart, their friendship and staying healthy.”

Put the Black Back And Wear Red Friday Ladies!

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go-red-for-women-logo[1]Friday, Feb. 1,  is National Wear Red Day, a day when the nation bands together to bring awareness to the No. 1 killer of women – heart disease.

If it is statistics you need, nearly 13 Connecticut women die each day from cardiovascular disease and stroke.

So put the black back into the closet, choose something red and wear your heart on your sleeve.

And don’t forget the American Heart Association’s 8th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon is coming up on Feb. 14 at the Connecticut Convention Center, featuring keynote speaker and heart transplant survivor, Ginger Zimmerman. For information go to www.heart.org