Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunflower Showdown Tragic Story of Loss and Heart Disease

Like many other Kansans this weekend, I tuned in to watch the much anticipated Sunflower Showdown this past Saturday. My focus was quickly taken away from the game and on to the tragic story of Thomas Robinson - a KU basketball player who in the last month lost his grandma and grandpa within weeks of each other. If that wasn't hard enough, just last week his mother unexpectedly died of a heart attack at age 43.

I wish I could say that I was shocked to hear that his mother was only 43 years old, but unfortunately I wasn't.

Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 cause of death in American women, claiming about 422,000 lives each year. This means women just like you - mothers, sisters, friends — are dying at the rate of one per minute. African-Americans have higher death rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke than whites. The prevalence of hypertension in blacks in the United States is among the highest in the world, and it's increasing.

In fact, in the time it takes to read this, another woman will die from heart disease. It simply does not have to be that way. At the American Heart Association, we work every day to fund research and fight this killer so more women can be saved. But we need your help. This National Wear Red Day, join our mission to ensure we never have to deny research that could save a woman’s life.

Become a volunteer advocate and deliver a lifesaving message to public officials. Enroll today in You’re the Cure, a nationwide network of volunteer advocates dedicated to finding a cure for heart disease and stroke at www.yourethecure.org.

On February 4, 2011, Make It Your Mission to Save Lives. Together we can make a difference. Celebrate National Wear Red Day.

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