We Are Young

It has been four months since my last blog post.  I can hardly believe it.  Life has gotten in the way of blogging!    So many blog posts in my head and no time to write them down. Alas, I have been busy getting my shop The Vintage Sunflower up and running.  (See My Decision To Leave) This leaves no time to write any of those blog posts that reside in my head.

Today, I find myself with rare downtime.  It is hard to decide which post to pluck out of my head and write about, but February is coming up and it seems like a good time to write about the importance of Go Red For Women.  If you have followed me, you know I have been heavily involved in the American Heart Association here in Kansas City and February is National Heart Month.  I am no longer a Go Red Ambassador or the Chair of the ambassadors as my schedule no longer allows it.  I have switched to being a social media ambassador for AHA Midwest.  This is only online and no meetings and that fits into my schedule much better!  Friday, February 5 is National Wear Red Day.  This continues to be a very important day to me.

Although I no longer live my life revolved around heart disease, it is still in the back of my mind.  My heart sisters are always on my mind. Over the summer, my heart sister Sadie got her new heart!

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Sadie with her transplant surgeon

My heart sister Caroline got two new hearts.  Her first one rejected, and most recently she was in the hospital on the verge of a second rejection.  What is in the back of the mind of every woman with heart disease is that even though you feel well, the fight is never over.

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Caroline during her most recent hospitalization to help save the second heart.

They were able to treat it, she was able to return to college and she now has only three rotations left before she is officially a veterinarian!

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Sadie and Caroline when Caroline was in the hospital

My heart sister Jenna is currently in the hospital until she receives a heart.  She blogs at Grapefruit and Tattoos and you should read her most current blog, 1A.

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Jenna’s hospital selfie.

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Jenna and Sadie last spring in healthier days.

My heart sister Susan had heart surgeries two days in a row before Christmas and was hospitalized again with complications around the first of the year.

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My heart sisters Julie and Angie were both named to the 2016 Class of Real Women this year and, like me, are both heart attack survivors:

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Julie–Read her story here.

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Angie–Read her story here.

And last but not least, here is me:

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What do I want you to know by posting the pictures of these women and how does it relate to the importance of Go Red For Women?  These are the faces of women with heart disease and we are young.  We are not the image you have in your head of someone who has heart disease. In case the pictures of these young women did not convince you, you can also read the stories of other young women I have featured:  Liz, Keri, Teri and Shelly.  Before my heart attack at 42, I could have never imagined being sick or knowing so many young women who are also sick–especially not sick with heart disease.  It never dawned on me just like it does not dawn on you that this is possible.

However, it is possible.  National Heart Month is February and National Wear Red Day for Go Red for Women is Friday February 5, 2016.  Heart disease is the number one killer of women killing one in three. Eighty percent of heart disease is preventable with education and lifestyle changes:

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Education of women and the men that love them are key!  Women need to know that heart disease is their number one killer but that they can change that. Men need to know so that they can make sure the women they love know it.  Heart disease is also the number one killer of men but has killed more women than men every year since 1984.

Help me spread the word that heart disease and stroke kill one in three women–that is approximately one woman every 60 seconds. Seriously, 60 SECONDS!  Can you even wrap your head around that?  I need you to get in your red on Friday February 5, 2016 and post your selfie–both ladies and gentlemen! Tell everyone you know why you are wearing red! Just to get you in the mood, you can read last years National Wear Red Day post. Look for the local Go Red events in your community and take part and learn what it means to Go Red. Tag me in your Go Red Selfie!

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You can tag me at @skinnybitchchro on Twitter or you can post it to my National Wear Red Day event on Facebook.

Cheers and Go Red for Women!

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