According to the Go Red for Women website, the organization “celebrates the energy, passion, and power that women have to band together to wipe out heart disease.”
Jean Dorton, with Big Sandy Community and Technical College, served as host for the event.
“We want to spread the word to be heart healthy,” Dorton told the crowd.
Three doctors from Highlands Regional Medical Center spoke at the event, with each doctor talking about stories relating to cases dealing with heart disease.
Ayesha Sikder, M.D., Ghassan Dalati, M.D., and Vaughn Payne, M.D., F.A.C.C., also utilized a projector to show images of damaged hearts and suggestions for being heart healthy.
“Heart disease is what I like to call a real stinker,” said Dr. Sikder. “It doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, or anything. I want to encourage all women, regardless of age, to get out there and be a little active.”
The promotion of regular exercise was a point made by all of the doctors, as well as getting checked if you think you have symptoms of heart disease.
“Do not take any chances with your health,” said Dr. Dalati.
Dr. Payne displayed multiple images of damaged and post-mortem hearts to help get the healthy heart message across.
“We’ve already had lunch, so I think it’s okay to look at these,” Payne joked.
Regina Hall, with the Big Sandy Area Development District, spoke as a survivor of heart disease, having been diagnosed with heart problems when she was an infant.
“My parents had just adopted me and taken me to see the doctor,” Hall said. “He told my dad that they should give me back, that I was very sick and had a hole in my heart.”
Throughout her adulthood, Hall considered her heart-related issues to be nothing more than stress and anxiety until last year when she woke up unable to breathe.
“I had open heart surgery in March and I have made a full recovery,” Hall said. “Unlike a lot of women, I don’t care if people know my age. I am 38. That means I survived heart disease and I have a chance to see 39.”
For more information on Go Red for Women, visit http://www.goredforwomen.org.