The annual “Go Red for Women Day” celebration was held at St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute on Friday.
It was an opportunity to bring awareness to the fight against women’s heart disease.
It can happen at any moment to anyone. Angel Schneider knows that all too well.
“September 11th, 2018, I had a heart attack while helping my little girl do her homework,” said Schneider.
Stories like hers are the reason people gathered at St. Mary’s on Friday… while wearing red.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women nationwide and in the Mountain State.
“It is more prevalent than all cancers and respiratory diseases combined,” said Dr. Mark Studey, a cardiologist at St. Mary’s.
Schneider’s experience with cardiovascular disease was unexpected, to say the least.
“I’m constantly working out, so it was a shock,” said Schneider. “So I wasn’t thinking heart attack when it happened. Why would I think that, you know?”
Dr. Studeny says regular check-ups are key, and at Friday’s event, women were able to get free health screenings thanks to St. Mary’s.
“It’s just important for people to be screened for these things, certainly if you have a positive family history; you have diabetes, hypertension,” said Studeny. “People need to try to live as healthy a live style as possible.”
Checkups, but also being aware of what your body is asking of you.
As a mother, Schneider knows how hard it can be to put herself first, and she has a message to all mothers out there.
“A lot of times we just put things off. When we have children running around, we have jobs, and things like that, we just put ourselves on the back burner,” she said emphatically. “So, I would say as a woman, listen to your body, put yourself first. It’s okay to put yourself first every now and then.”
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease takes 3,000 lives each year in the Mountain State.