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Wearing red to promote healthy hearts

By Norwalk Reflector Staff • Feb 2, 2018 at 4:00 AM

National Wear Red Day, the first Friday each February, is a special way of bringing attention the leading cause of death among men and women, cardiovascular disease.

The day was established by the American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in 2002 with a special focus on the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women, a statistic not widely discussed before then.

Locally, National Wear Red Day is being celebrated with the announcement of the date for the 2018 Fisher-Titus Race & Walk for Healthy Hearts. This year’s event is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 8 at Summit Motorsports Park. The event combines a 5K competitive run with the traditional non-competitive walk, according to Deb Reed, Fisher-Titus director of public relations. The volunteer committee has already begun organizing for the 2018 event.

“An important component of our Heart Walk/Race is to educate the community about the prevention and risk factors for heart disease,” said Reed. “National Wear Red Day is a great way to get started and raise awareness.”

Committee member Wende Mersereau contacted Norwalk High School Principal Brad Cooley asking if the students could wear red today to promote awareness. Mersereau’s son Jonah, a senior at NHS, has been involved in the local Heart Walk for many years. Last year, his team raised $3,710 for the event. According to Cooley, “Wear Red Day and what it means has been promoted all week at the school.”

Fisher-Titus Medical Center employees also will be wearing red today with some donning special Wear Red for Healthy Hearts shirts.

According to the CDC, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American men and women with 610,000 Americans dying from heart disease each year. In Huron County, 22 percent of all deaths are attributed to heart disease, according to the 2017 recent Huron County Health Assessment.

"Educating the community about heart disease is an important goal of our Heart Walk committee,” Reed said. “Eighty-percent of cardiovascular disease is preventable, but knowledge is key. We will be doing a lot of community education about heart disease this year before the event.”

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