Women reconnect for heart health at Lancaster Go Red for Women Luncheon

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, welcomed nearly 100 supporters back to the Lancaster Go Red for Women Luncheon on Thursday, June 2 at the Lancaster Country Club. It was the first time the event was held in-person since May 2019. The campaign raised more than $40,000 for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

Guests of the 2022 Lancaster Go Red for Women luncheon listen to survivor Christine Sable share her story.

The event’s theme “Reclaim Your Rhythm” encouraged attendees to reprioritize their physical and mental health, which may have suffered during the pandemic. No one understands this more than local commercial realtor Christine Sable who shared her story during the luncheon. In December 2020, Christine’s Christmas celebration with family went from feeling achy in her arms and back on Christmas Eve to the emergency room three days later.

Initial testing in the emergency room didn’t show anything unusual, but after repeating the tests a second time doctors were alarmed at the results and she was rushed to the cardiac catheterization lab. Christine learned that she had experienced a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a tear in the artery, which caused a blockage in her left anterior descending artery. That blockage caused one of the most deadly types of heart attack called an ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI heart attack.

“I’ve read in literature and in ads from the American Heart Association that heart attack symptoms in women can be much different than men,” said Sable. “I knew from what I’ve read that arm pain and back pain can be heart related symptoms for women. It would have been really easy to ignore and, in fact, I did ignore it the first time I felt it. I could have very easily died on Christmas eve. As women, we often push our aches and pains asides, but they can be important warning signs.”

Heart attack survivor Christine Sable shares her story at the 2022 Lancaster Go Red for Women Luncheon.

In addition to hearing Christine’s story, several other local women with personal connections to the Go Red for Women movement shared their stories and walked the runway in a fashion show featuring styles from local boutiques including Athleta, Fillings Clothing, The Charlotte Shoppe, Marie & Z Boutique and Pappagallo.

Dr. Christine Stabler of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health provides keynote address at 2022 Lancaster Go Red for Women Luncheon.

Guests also heard a keynote address about the importance of regular health screenings for women at every stage of life by Dr. Christine Stabler, medical director of women’s health at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. Valerie Schulz, co-owner of I Am Limitless in Manheim Township, got guests out of their seats and moving with some exercises and talked about incorporating physical activity into a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Adrienne Topic, interventional cardiologist at WellSpan Health talked with guests about the impact of aging and menopause on women’s heart disease risk, and Dr. Laura Smith, bariatric and family medicine practitioner at UPMC Lititz, explained the ways that stress, sleep and nutrition all play a role in cardiovascular health.

Since 2004, Go Red for Women has had a profound impact on women’s health. As the trusted, passionate, and relevant force to eradicate heart disease and stroke, through the Go Red for Women movement, the American Heart Association remains steadfast and committed to meeting the comprehensive health needs of women — at every life stage.

The dollars raised by the Lancaster Go Red for Women event fund the mission of the American Heart Association to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, as well as generate funds for lifesaving cardiovascular research for women.

The Lancaster Go Red for Women campaign is sponsored nationally by WellSpan Health, UPMC and UPMC Health Plan, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Barley Snyder Attorneys at Law, Highmark, Penn State Health and Saxton & Stump Lawyers and Consultants.

Photos and event highlights can be found on our Facebook page @AHAPennsylvania and more information is available at lancastergored.heart.org.

For more information about supporting the 2023 Lancaster Go Red for Women campaign, contact Alek Tomazin at alek.tomazin@heart.org or 717-730-1701.

Guests at the 2022 Lancaster Go Red for Women Luncheon listen to speaker Valerie Schulz of I AM Limitless.