Raising heart disease awareness
The American Heart Association is sponsoring several events in February to raise awareness about heart disease.
National Wear Red Day on Friday
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Headlines Salon, 520 W. 23rd St. $10 minimum donation required for a free haircut. For more information call 841-5885.
¢ Healthy Heart Fair
8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 9, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine. Free health screenings and exhibits about heart disease, stroke, weight and fitness.
From 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., blood draw for a total lipid blood profile, $25 the day of and $20 if you register before Friday.
Go Red for Women Luncheon
Feb. 14 at Maceli's, 1031 N.H.
10:30 a.m. to noon is registration, expo and a silent auction for red 'Purs'onalities.' Several local women business leaders have donated red purses filled with items that describe their personality and will be auctioned.
Noon to 1 p.m. is the luncheon. Cass Ryan, Lawrence Memorial Hospital clinical dietitian, is the keynote speaker.
Tickets are $50, and seating is limited. Call (913) 652-1911 by Feb. 8 to reserve tickets.
As an owner and manager of a salon, and wife and mother of seven, it's easy for Tina Correa, 45, to put herself and her health last.
However, a family history of heart disease has made it critical for Correa to change her lifestyle.
"Starting about 20 years ago, my grandmother had a heart attack," Correa said. "I went to stay with her for a couple of weeks to help her get on her feet. Then about 16 years ago, my dad started having heart problems."
She said her father's problems started with a small heart attack and progressed to the point that he needed quadruple bypass surgery. The surgery was the same week her youngest daughter, Makenna, was born, she said.
Since that week 11 years ago, Correa has been in the hospital for numerous heart procedures. At the same time her uncle has had similar problems.
"I'm in the age range now where I have to be careful, especially with my family history," she said.
Now she exercises and watches her diet and cholesterol levels, despite the demands of being a mother of children ages 11 to 24.
During February, the American Heart Association wants women of every age to follow Correa's lead and take heed of possible warning signs and risk factors that contribute to heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Several events are scheduled in February to create an awareness about heart disease and strokes. National Wear Red Day is Friday, and a Go Red for Women Luncheon is Feb. 14.
"Last year I attended the Go Red luncheon and got a lot of good education on women and heart disease," Correa said. "This year I really wanted to do something to help with the fundraiser."
She and her oldest daughter, Desiree Strecker, 24, who co-own Headlines Salon, 520 W. 23rd St., are commemorating National Wear Red Day with a cut-a-thon to help raise money for the association. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, they will accept $10 donations for a free hair cut.
According to the American Heart Association, more women die from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases than men - but many women don't realize they are at risk.
"For some reason, we all as medical professionals and others, we have a tendency to think that heart disease goes along with men," said Debbie Toms, a cardiac nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. "I'm not sure where that whole mentality came from, but women seem to have been forgotten.
"Women, because they are nurturers and caregivers, sometimes I think a lot goes unsaid," she said. "I wonder if that may be one of the reasons why we've really not looked at women. I think it's been there, but we just haven't looked at it for what it is."
Heart disease is a general term for several specific heart conditions, including coronary heart disease, which is the most common in the U.S. Several risk factors include obesity, smoking, menopause, high blood pressure, family history, high and low blood cholesterol, and not exercising.
"Take heed to all the warnings signs," Toms said. "Just be aware and pay close attention to it."