Why I’ll Rock Red on February 4
What will you be wearing on Friday, Feb. 4?
I have a great idea. How about we all rock red? Help me celebrate National Wear Red Day to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke—the No. 1 and No. 4 killers of women.
Mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, best friends, colleagues. We all have women in our lives we care about. I’ll be wearing red for my heroes—fearless women who have survived health crises ranging from heart attacks and strokes to rare heart diseases.
My heroes are the Go Red For Women survivor ambassadors I’ve met on my recovery journey after having a carotid artery dissection and stroke.
Why are these women my heroes? Because of their immense strength in overcoming their own heath crises and using their experiences to help others. They were also there for me during my crisis, offering their love, understanding and compassion at a time when no one else could fathom what I was experiencing.
I had no idea how to process what I was experiencing. One day I was lifting weights in the gym and the next day I found myself lying in a hospital bed scared and confused.
Back when it happened, I had many questions and concerns about something I knew absolutely nothing about. I struggled to make sense of why it happened to me—and if it was going to happen again. Even today, seven years later, the reasons for the carotid artery dissection and the stroke it caused are unknown.
Even though I had caring family and friends, I felt alone because no one truly understood what I was going through. But that changed when a friend invited me to attend an American Heart Association event called the Garden State Go Red For Women luncheon. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event, but I was filled with hope and eagerness to connect and learn. I remember walking into a sea of red at the survivor reception. Everywhere I looked, all I could see were heart and stroke survivors unified by their stories and red dresses.
These women welcomed me with hugs and shared their stories. One woman had an aneurysm growing in her heart. Another had experienced three strokes. One survivor’s heart had a hole in it. One hero survived a heart attack as a teenager. And another one’s husband had to revive her on the kitchen floor with CPR after she suffered heart failure. These women were fighters and weren’t going to let anything keep them down.
Suddenly, I wasn’t alone anymore, and my health crisis seemed so small compared to the ones these beautiful, brave women were sharing with me. At that moment, my emotional healing began, and I owe that—and so much more—to my group of new friends who will forever have a special place in my heart.
So, please join me on Friday, Feb. 4 to honor these ladies and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women. Rock your red because awareness saves lives.
Learn more by visiting www.GoRedForWomen.org.