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It's time to talk RED


While thought of as a “man’s disease,” since 1984 more women than men have died each year from heart disease. In fact, only 54 percent of women recognize that heart disease is their number one killer, causing one in three deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute. 

As disturbing as these statistics may seem, awareness that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women has nearly doubled in this country over the last 15 years, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). However, our fight doesn’t stop there. 

In 2004, the American Heart Association decided enough was enough. Heart disease claims the lives of over 500,000 women nationwide. 

To dispel the myth and raise awareness of heart disease, the American Heart Association created Go Red for Women, “a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.” Go Red for Women encourages women to band together to wipe out this deadly disease by raising awareness of the issue of women and heart disease and by promoting action to save more lives. 

Go Red for Women challenges women to know their risk for heart disease and to take the necessary steps to reduce their personal risk. 

So what does this mean for the Sandhills?

The Go Red for Women Campaign of the Sandhills NC Region is on its 4th year encompassing Cumberland, Hoke, Moore, Harnett, Sampson, Bladen, Robeson, Scotland and Lee (Sanford) counties. They are proud of the diverse group of passionate and committed women who serve as Go Red Ambassadors who, through Go Red, are able to share their stories while emphasizing the importance of being aware and conscious of their bodies. Go Red Ambassadors also strive to educate and encourage the women in their area to know and understand the signs and symptoms of having a heart attack and stroke, on understanding their numbers and to determine what steps one needs to take to live longer and healthier lives. 

“Women nowadays are Super Women, so seeing the doctor becomes last priority,” said Sol Halliburton, campaign coordinator for Go Red for Women in the Sandhills Region. “Our goal is to encourage women to take a more pro-active approach to their health care.”

Your local ambassadors are volunteers in the area who are here to raise awareness of this issue and their mission is simple: to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“We have at least 25 volunteer women who are passionate leaders on the cause and are involved with the planning and promotion of our campaign,” stated Halliburton, who has been with the organization through the duration of the four years the campaign has been in the Sandhills Region.

“Heart disease runs in my family, so being a female who is at risk, I have to be conscious of my numbers” Halliburton shared. “Go Red for Women is more of a peer to peer campaign, which allows women like me to share my story to hopefully help others in the community.”

Over 900,000 women have joined the fight and become Go Red for Women Ambassadors. Now it’s up to you!

"Being involved in the Go Red for Women yearly campaign is rewarding because you get to see first - hand how the money raised directly impacts our community.  I've had the opportunity to volunteer right along side women, men, and children who have been impacted by heart disease and positively touched because of the American Heart Association's efforts," shared Rocky Harrigan, co-chair." Tammy Thurman, co-chair, continued, "The faces of heart disease have such diversity that we all have to share in the responsibility of educating all cultures of living a better life and making them aware that this diseease is preventable."

When you join Go Red for Women, you will receive important information that will allow you to take action to improve your health. You will also gain the knowledge and confidence to talk about heart disease and to educate your community. There is no better time than the present to act and there are many different ways you can get involved in your community’s Go Red for Women Campaign.

“It’s easy to volunteer!” shared Halliburton excitedly. To find out more on how you can get involved in this campaign be sure to email Sol Halliburton, sol.halliburton@heart.org or send them a message through their Facebook page – Go Red for Women-Fayetteville NC 

Each February, the Sandhills NC Region/Fayetteville goes red in a big way with the Go Red for Women Heart Health Awareness Campaign known as Paint the Town Red Week. Paint the Town Red Week is an initiative created to raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women. 

This year’s event was held February 1st to February 7th and in that week there were a variety of different events such as the Red Hot Boot Camp, {Red}y or Not: Heart Health & Life Awareness for Your 20’s, 30’s and Beyond, which was in conjunction with the Fayetteville Young Professionals and Rotary Club Speaker Series, National Wear Red Day and the “3rd Fashion with a Touch of Red” Fashion Show, hosted by Lorna Ricotta at Macy’s Cross Creek Mall. Each of these events were held to raise awareness and to raise funds that would go toward supporting awareness research and education of heart disease, along with community programs to benefit women.

Paint the Town Red Week began in 2012 when Jean Moore, VP/Owner of Moore Exposure, held Fayetteville’s very first Go Red for Women Luncheon on May 18, 2012. With just two months to prepare, the event sat almost 80 attendees and raised almost $3,000. 

The region’s very first Paint the Town Red Week was successfully implemented in 2014 by Patty Collie, VP & Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley, along with the region’s first Red Tie Society. With Collie’s leadership team by her side she held the 2014 Go Red for Women Expo and Luncheon on May 13, 2014 at the Highland Country Club with 154 attendees. She expanded the original luncheon into a fun-filled event for women, which would rank the 2013 to 2014 Go Red for Women – Sandhills NC Campaign #4 out of the 86 Mid Atlantic Affiliate events with 147 percent growth!

This year’s annual Go Red for Women Expo and Luncheon will be held May 12, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Highland Country Club. At this event you will have the chance to network, listen to educational sessions with interesting topics and most importantly talk about heart disease. You can find more information on this event at goredsandhillsnc.ahaevents.org. The American Heart Association has a 2020 goal where they are working toward improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reducing deaths from heart disease and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020.

Who would you go RED for? 

The Go Red for Women Campaign in the Sandhills Region NC grows bigger and bigger each year, and they invite all women to get involved! Help your community by joining in the fight against this deadly disease, because it’s time to talk red.