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Shaw Wears Red to Fight Heart Disease

By Avion Wallace

February 8, 2013 - Shaw University students, faculty and staff wore red to help raise awareness about cardiovascular disease in women during the American Heart Association's "National Wear Red Day" day on February 1, 2013. During the event, attendees received free online assessments and information to increase knowledge about the deadly disease.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year and it is now the number one killer of women. On the first Friday in February, millions of women and men come together with the AHA to wear red and to commit to fighting heart disease.

Many in the Shaw community participated in the event to honor family and friends affected by heart disease. Student Denaysha Bowens described the difficulties her family faced after her mother survived a heart attack. "Financially it's a problem because we cannot afford to pay for her medication and emotionally it's difficult trying to make sure she eats what she is supposed to eat and taking her to doctor appointments, said Bowens." Bowens plans to reduce her risk for heart disease by eating healthy and exercising.

Ebony Johnson, Director of Student Activities and Greek Life, described the importance of the event. "It's very important for women to know that they are at risk," said Johnson. "They also need to know how to identify the signs of the disease and how to deal with the emotional issues as well. It's also important for men to be aware." Johnson plans on hosting more community events in the future.