“My personal history of heart disease started when I was relatively young,” Weeks told members of the Wooster City School District board of education during their Jan. 24 meeting.
“I started down a long road with my cardiologist,” said Weeks, noting that in June of 2010 she had a pacemaker installed.
“Along my journey I found that there is very little recognition for women fighting heart disease within our community.”
Weeks decided to do what she could to change that by working with the city of Wooster and the Wooster City School District to pass a joint resolution “to turn Wooster red for one day in February to raise awareness for women fighting heart disease.”
“For one day I’m asking that Wooster be red and hopefully send the message out to women to take heart heath seriously.”
The Joint Proclamation, which was read by Jim Barnard, board president, and unanimously approved by the full board, notes that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States and that stroke is the third leading cause of death.
“Heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases claim the lives of more than half a million women each year – more than the next seven causes of death combined, and nearly twice as many as all forms of cancer including breast cancer,” Barnard read, adding that “the cost of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in the U.S. is estimated at $352 billion.”
To bring home the point that heart disease is a major problem in America, Barnard went on to say that one in five females in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease and that “63 percent of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms of this disease.”
To raise awareness of the risks associated with heart disease, February has been declared American Heart Month.
As part of the month-long observance, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services teamed up to promote National Wear Red Day Feb. 3 to encourage Americans to wear red to show their support for women’s heart health.
By passing the resolution Wooster joined communities across the nation by joining the American Heart Association Go Red For Women campaign “to encourage women to pay attention to their hearts and help them live longer, stronger lives by reducing their risk for cardiovascular disease,” Barnard read from the resolution.
“The Wooster City School District, in recognition of the importance of the ongoing fight against heart disease and stroke, do hereby proclaim Feb. 3 to be Wear Red for Women Day and urge all employees to wear red in recognition of family, friends and neighbors who have suffered from heart disease, and as a show of support to fight it,” said Barnard.
“By increasing awareness of the risk factors for this devastating disease and taking actions to reduce them, we can save thousands of lives each year,” Barnard concluded.
To learn more about the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, log on to http://www.goredforwomen.org.
Published: February 8, 2012