‘Go Red for Women’ mobilizes to fight heart disease

Thousands of Rockford residents will help women fight heart disease when they participate in the second year of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, as it gears up again in February.

Go Red For Women began in February 2004 to raise awareness that heart disease is women’s No. 1 killer. The grassroots initiative has since grown into a vibrant national movement as more women, men, celebrities, health care providers and politicians embrace and elevate the cause of women and heart disease. The Go Red movement provides women tips and information on healthy eating, exercise, and risk factor reduction, such as smoking cessation, weight maintenance, blood pressure control and blood cholesterol management.

“Last year, we discovered an alarming fact—that women still don’t know heart disease is their No. 1 killer,” said Alice Jacobs, M.D., president of the American Heart Association. “In fact, more women still believe that cancer is the greatest health problem facing them today. Go Red For Women is beginning to change that.”

Sponsored proudly by national sponsors Macy’s and Pfizer, with additional support from the PacifiCare Foundation and Bayer Aspirin, the American Heart Association’s activities in February include:

National Wear Red Day—This is a national observance created by the American Heart Association. On Friday, Feb. 4, thousands of people, including employees at close to 2,000 companies, national and local news anchors and talk-show hosts will wear red to support the cause. The red dress and the color red are symbols for women and heart disease and the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. In Rockford, Mayor Doug Scott has declared Feb. 4 as “Go Red For Women Day.”

Landmarks and Monuments to Go Red—National and local landmarks—including the Seattle Space Needle, Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building, Graceland and more—will be illuminated in red during February, American Heart Month to further raise awareness of women and heart disease.

The Red Dress Pin—Get One. Give One. Thousands have already added the red dress pin to their fashion accessory collection to support the women and heart disease movement. This year, women are urged to get two free red dress pins—one to wear and one to share with someone they care about. You can get the pins by calling 1-888-MY-HEART.

National Celebrity Spokesperson—Grammy Award-winning R&B vocalist Toni Braxton, among several celebrities involved in Go Red For Women, is the national spokeswoman in 2005. “I am so pleased to be joining Go Red For Women, not only because heart disease has touched me personally, but also because I can assist in taking the message to the thousands of women who don’t know that heart disease is their No. 1 health risk,” she said.

Red Dress Statue Collection— More than 20 celebrities in fashion, music, food, television, film and sports have inspired a unique collection of custom-designed statues depicting the Go Red For Women red dress icon. The statues will be unveiled Feb. 3, at Radio City Music Hall. The celebrities include Bill Cosby, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daisy Fuentes, Jane Pauley, Univision TV personality Teresa Rodriguez, designers Carolina Herrera and TV chefs Rachel Ray and Sara Moulton.

The Scientific Community Joins the Movement—At a news conference Feb. 1, the American Heart Association will release new scientific statements on women and heart disease as well as a new study on what physicians and consumers are doing (or not doing) to reduce their risks.

Shop With Heart at ShopGoRed.com—This February, with the launch of the Go Red For Women Online Store, consumers can get important health information as well as shop for fun products that benefit the American Heart Association. The site offers a brand-new rhinestone red dress pin as well as hats, bags, scarves and even a men’s tie. The site is the only source of official Go Red For Women merchandise from the American Heart Association.

Shop For A Great Cause—There are many products “benefiting” the American Heart Association from Day-Timers, Le Mystere lingerie, Perfumania, Brighton, Swarovski Crystal and more. These products, on sale through February and beyond (in some cases), are also linked to at ShopGoRed.com.

Anyone can join Go Red For Women by calling 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278) or visiting www.americanheart.org.

About the American Heart Association

Since 1924, the American Heart Association has helped protect people of all ages and ethnicities from the ravages of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and other cardiovascular diseases, claim nearly a million American lives a year. The association invested more than $439 million in fiscal year 2003-04 for research, professional and public education, and advocacy so people across America learn what they can do to reduce their risk and live stronger, longer lives.

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