This Friday marks the 15th anniversary of National Wear Red Day, a celebration to raise awareness of heart health, specifically for women.
National Wear Red Day formed after research discovered over 500,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year. The American Heart Association found that a vast majority of these deaths came from a lack of knowledge on heart health. With this in mind, the association created Go Red for Women and the Wear Red Day celebration.
“To me [Wear Red Day] is important because it brings awareness to the significance of heart health and it makes people realize that you need to take care of yourself and your family,” senior Madalyn Benton, whose mother suffered from strokes due to heart-related problems in years prior, said.
According to the Association’s official website, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, which amounts to one death every 80 seconds. The association’s aims to spread awareness and promote healthy living through research and support programs.
“Women should know their numbers, and focus on dieting,” Academy of Health Science instructor Elisabeth Smith said. “Many women worry about taking care of others so much that they forget to take care of themselves.”
Macy’s, the official sponsor of National Wear Red Day, sells Go Red for Women pins, and t-shirts to help raise funds for AHA. They donate 100% of pin sales sold Feb. 1-6, and 10% of tees sold Feb 1-28. Jamberry and Jewelry Television also donate a portion of purchases to the Heart Association, as well as spread the word about wearing red.
The association’s biggest challenge stems from ignorance on the subject, as a lack of education at a young age deprives people of knowledge on how to keep their hearts healthy. AHA believes that people who learn at an early age the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle can decrease their risk of heart related death. To promote this, the Association sponsors Field Days across the country with their Jump Rope for Heart program, as well as more community-centric events like Wear Red Day.
“Educating girls early is the best way to promote heart health,” Smith said. “If girls learn in school how to take care of their heart, the’ll take that information home with them and educate their parents.”
Aside from purchasing a pin or t-shirt to support the cause, people can FUNraise individually or as a team to help AHA raise money.