Go Red For Women Luncheon to Feature Local Survivors

What does the face of heart disease in women look like? Is it old? Is it unhealthy? You might be surprised to learn that heart disease in women can occur in the young and old, in seemingly healthy women as well as those with risk factors. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon on Friday, June 2nd aims to put a face on women’s heart disease by sharing local survivors’ stories, and, here’s a preview–none of the women have their AARP Card yet.

Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.

Christine Wayne and Kim Salveggi, heart disease survivors

Christine Wayne and Kim Salveggi, heart disease survivors

But the American Heart Association (AHA) is seeking to change that with prevention and awareness through their Go Red For Women Luncheon, set for Friday, June 2nd from 10AM to 2PM, at the Hilton Westchester in Rye.

Tickets are available online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org/.

Two local film students are producing a video to be debuted at the Go Red For Women Luncheon about the survivors, entitled, “Faces of Heart.” Jeanne Ronan and Marie Venezia are both long-time film students of the Jacob Burns Film Center’s adult courses in Pleasantville. Their 2016 Go Red survivor video won a MarCom Award in February.

“It was extremely rewarding to work on a film project that had a specific purpose in this world. It is also a cause that is personally near and dear to both of us. We were grateful for the opportunity to work with such fantastic women – and we would do it again in a heartbeat!” said Ronan.

Kim Salveggi, 43, from Yorktown, and Christine Wayne, 37, of Stamford, CT will be featured in the short film. Salveggi, a married mother of two teenage girls, suffered a coronary artery dissection in March of 2015. She was previously diagnosed with depression and hypochondria when symptoms of extreme exhaustion began in September 2014. When more classic heart attack symptoms of chest, jaw and arm pain set in, she feared that nobody would believe what she knew all along—something was seriously wrong. At the emergency room, doctors believed her, and she survived after a stent was inserted during emergency cardiac catheterization. She recently returned to work.

Christine Wayne survived sudden cardiac arrest in December of 2016. She felt tired all day and while in the shower, she began to cough and was overcome with exhaustion and nausea. She said did not want to call 9-1-1, as is recommended. What if someone saw her? Why incur the cost when someone could just come pick her up? When she began to have trouble breathing, she finally called her mother, who said to call 9-1-1.

Another moment’s delay and she might not have made it. On route in the ambulance, her heart stopped four times. She awoke to people counting and shouting “CLEAR!” At the hospital, two stents were put in, and was released after a week in the hospital. She is now back to her daily routine.

Both are advocates for Go Red For Women’s lifesaving messages to learn about, prevent and know the symptoms of heart attack in women. In the video, Salveggi implores women to second opinion and never stop advocating for your health. Wayne wants women to know the symptoms of heart attack and not be embarrassed to call the ambulance—minutes count.

The Go Red For Women Luncheon includes a morning health and wellness exhibition featuring local health professionals, networking, and a keynote address by Mara Schiavocampo, an ABC News correspondent and author based in New York. Schiavocampo is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, and best-selling author of, “THINspired,” her personal journey of losing 90 pounds after the birth of her daughter.

An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases, and 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. The good news is 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Small, incremental changes to lifestyle can go a long way in preventing these leading killers. Quitting smoking, exercising at least 30 minutes per day, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating more fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease and stroke. More information is available at GoRedForWomen.org and at this year’s Go Red For Women luncheon.

Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy’s, and locally by Signature Sponsor, Stamford Health. Other sponsors include Greenwich Hospital, Morgan Stanley, New York-Presbyterian, Fuji Film, White Plains Hospital, Buzz Creators, Healthcare News, Professional Women of Westchester, WHUD, Westchester Magazine, and ABC7.

Tickets and event information are online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org/.

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