The normally True Blue MTSU campus added a dash of red to the color scheme Friday, Feb. 3, to celebrate National Wear Red Day.
The campus community attended MTSU Student Health Services and MTSU Health Promotion festivities for an annual event to raise awareness for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign in the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium in the Science Building.
For this occasion, it was totally OK for the nearly 70 campus employees to wear red.
Ellen Slicker, board president for the Rutherford County American Heart Association, welcomed attendees, who learned about risks and symptoms of heart disease in women and men, too. They also took part in games and activities with an opportunity to win prizes.
Heart disease affects millions of Americans each year, organizers said. Heart disease and stroke kill one in three women, but they said those deaths are nearly 80 percent preventable.
Many on campus have been affected by heart disease, including Carolyn Hopper, now a retired University Studies professor.
Hopper told the audience that her heart story began as she developed breathing difficulties as the fall 2014 semester ended and Christmas holidays approached.
Her condition worsened, and she was in cardiac arrest as she reached the local emergency room. She was sent to Nashville, where doctors inserted a stent in her heart to open the narrowed arteries, then she returned to St. Thomas Rutherford for rehabilitation.
“It was scary,” Hopper recalled at the campus event. “It made me pay attention. I really watch what I eat, and I go to SportsCom five to six days a week. The doctors, in following up, said that made a difference.”
Lisa Schrader, director of health promotion, said those unable to attend the event can still “Go Red”:
- Get your numbers — Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
- Own your lifestyle — Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
- Raise your voice — Advocate for more women-related research and education.
- Educate your family — Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your children the importance of staying active.
- Donate — Show your support with a donation of time or money.
To learn more about the national “Go Red” heart health movement, visit www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)