Today is National Go Red for Women Day, so wear red and remember that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States.
I'll be wearing red in memory of my grandmother, who died of complications from a stroke after years of heart-related issues. Her illness and eventual death changed my perception of heart disease, and I now realize that it can, and does, affect everyone, regardless of age.
I'll be wearing red in honor of my mother, who manages her diabetes with a healthy diet and exercise.
I'll be wearing red for my best friend, who must deal with heart-related issues while still in her 20s. And for my friend's cousin, who died too soon, leaving her young daughters behind.
I'll be wearing red for me, because I, too, have struggled with heart issues caused by a thyroid disorder. I've become my own advocate, and now recognize the symptoms as they arise. I also maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. I'm counting on my heart to keep pumping for many years to come, and it's the only heart I've got, so I have to take care of it.
And I'll be wearing red for all women, because we so easily give our hearts away, wear them on our sleeves, and watch them walking around outside our bodies in the form of children. We have to take care of our hearts and ourselves, because so many other hearts are depending on us.
So today, when you see someone wearing red, remember that they do so in honor of you and your heart.