The Upper Valley Celebrates Life With Go Red for Women Luncheon

One in three. That’s the price women pay for cardiovascular disease. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, more than all cancers combined. On February 8, the Upper Valley Go Red for Women Luncheon celebrated the energy, passion and courage of women who are leading the charge to end heart disease and stroke throughout New Hampshire.  Together, we are breaking the silence about the devastating impact heart disease is having on our families and communities.
Cardiovascular diseases kill about one woman every 80 seconds, but the good news is about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be prevented. The Upper Valley Go Red for Women Luncheon featured two breakout sessions covering healthy lifestyles and peripheral arterial disease.  During the program, keynote speaker, Lauren Gilstrap, MD, delivered a speech about women in cardiovascular medicine, touching on their careers, family, and diversity. The day ended with a panel discussion covering arrhythmias and survivor Susan Anderson-Ray, of Middlebury, VT, sharing her journey with cardiomyopathy.
Susan always had her health on her mind. After weeks of feeling cold-like symptoms in 2012, Susan was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy that was probably viral in origin. Her heart was dangerously enlarged and was having difficulty pumping blood. Months later, Susan received a pacemaker and her health began to improve.
“Heart disease can happen to anyone and women need to be aware of their health and risk factors. As patients, we need to own our path,” Susan said, “It’s important to be educated and to pick your treatment and support network carefully. My journey has been a long one, but I was fortunate to not have to walk this path alone.”
Go Red for Women, nationally sponsored by CVS Health, is the American Heart Association’s national movement which advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The Upper Valley Go Red for Women Luncheon is locally sponsored by Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire, BaySon Company, Ledyard National Bank, White Mountain Insurance, and Mascoma Bank, with media sponsors Great Eastern Radio and Local 22 and Local 44.
The Go Red for Women movement has inspired women to be unstoppable. Together, we can inspire our mothers, sisters, friends and even ourselves to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities and shape policies to save lives.  Since Go Red for Women began in 2004, over 1.5 million women have joined the life-saving movement.  Of those who have joined, 90 percent of women have made at least one healthy behavior change, and about 293 fewer women in the U.S. die from heart disease and stroke each day.
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