Red has always been my favorite color. And on Tuesday, all ladies are being asked to wear my favorite color and pose for a picture in recognition of Go Red for Women movement.
The Lima Symphony Orchestra is asking women everywhere to join together at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the lobby of Veterans Memorial Civic Center in downtown Lima for a group picture to raise awareness of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women.
“Our February 9 concert is sponsored by St. Rita’s Medical Center and Lima Memorial Health System, both of which have great heart units. Statistics show that one in three women die of heart disease, which is so often undetected because the symptoms for women are very different than the symptoms for men. In this area, we have these great heart facilities, and we want women to take advantage of them, and in doing so, take care of themselves,” said Elizabeth Brown, marketing director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra, and always a participant in the photo.
In the past three years, these photos have graced billboards. They have popped up in print and television ads. They are designed to be everywhere women look. To remind us to think of our heart health.
“Women are always thinking of everyone else, and sometimes it’s hard to think of ourselves and our own health,” Brown said.
And because heart disease is no respector of age, race, weight, or personality, all women are encouraged to participate. Not just symphony attendees. Not just doctors. Not just survivors of heart attacks.
“Heart disease really does affect everyone. It’s a broad cross-section of the population that are touched by it. And, we really want everyone to come out and take part in the photo shoot. The more people, the greater the impact,” Brown said.
Never a fan of getting your photo taken?
“That’s not a problem. Michael Ayers is shooting this, and Michael can always make us all look good,” Brown said.
Although I will be out of town on that day, Michael is one person I would trust to make even me look good.
The only stipulation for the shot is that everyone wear red. True red. Not orange-red, not pink-red, not burgundy. Red. And if you don’t have a red dress, wear black pants or skirt with a red shirt. Again, pure red.
The entire process should take less than 30 minutes. And the impact will great.
I know every photo that has come out in the last three years. I have scanned it to see who I know in that picture. I have checked out the billboards when I drive, impressed that I know some of the women in those photos. And with each glance at that picture, I think of heart health.
This week, the national Go Red for Women campaign offered a few ideas to help all women curb heart disease. Most sound easy, and are more a matter of lifestyle choices than hard changes.
Quit smoking, and avoid second-hand smoke whenever possible.
Monitor your health, and that includes knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol, and even your weight. Also monitor the food you’re putting into your body and keep it as natural as possible, cutting out the processed food.
Get moving, even if it means parking a space or two farther from the mall door. Ask your friends and family to join you for a walk.
Go out and buy the brightest red dress or sweater you can find. That’s a visual reminder to all of us that our hearts really do matter.
It’s not often women can do something for themselves. But here’s the chance, Go Red for Women.
Be there at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Your mothers, daughters, and girlfriends need your support.
As my grandma always used to say, “Bless Your Heart.”