National Wear Red Day is Friday -- help raise awareness
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. This Friday is the American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day. Across the country, wearing red will be a show of support for heart health. Here are some other ways to help raise awareness:
- Educate yourself and your loved ones on the facts about heart disease in women.
- Give -- your support saves lives!
- Share your story! Post your stories and pictures of you wearing red on social media using the hashtags #WearRedAndGive and #WearRedDay
As many of you can likely relate, heart disease has had a big impact on my life. I will share just one of those stories with you. Here you see me holding a picture of my friend, Gloria, and her son. I think we met six or seven years ago. Our boys went to school together. We kept running into each other at various events like baseball and math competitions and a friendship began.
Gloria and I would meet for lunch, go to the beach or take a walk in the park. We would chat about various things ranging from family issues to tips on hair products. It was a friendship that grew very naturally; it was easy for us to relate and talk to each other comfortably. I'm not sure we ever had that awkward phase you sometimes have when you start to know someone. It felt like a genuine friendship that could last for many years to come.
I remember vividly sitting with her at lunch one day and she said she was going to see her doctor for some heart problems that were resurfacing. She admitted that she hadn't been faithful to actively caring for her heart condition. Just a couple of weeks later, when I was about to reach out and see when we could get together again, I saw her brother say on Facebook that Gloria had suddenly passed away due to heart complications.
She was only 46 and her son still had several years left in high school. Her family was from out of state and they held her funeral back in their hometown so unfortunately, I never got the chance to say goodbye.
Gloria was gone far too soon and I know she would have shared more of her joy and smile with the world if she was still here. I am thankful for the friendship we had and I do have little things that remind me of Gloria, like every time I buy that hair product she gave me advice about.
Gloria's story is a stark reminder of how cardiovascular disease is something we should take seriously. Please consider wearing red on Friday to show your support and help raise awareness.