It’s my privilege to represent Webster Bank as a member of the executive leadership team for the Hartford Chapter of American Heart Association (AHA). As a longtime partner of the AHA and supporter of National Wear Red Day®, Webster is encouraging its employees to participate in this year’s day of heart disease awareness by wearing red on Friday, Feb. 7. We hope you join us.
Like so many women, I joined this movement not only because it offered me a way to give back to the communities we serve, but also because heart disease had affected close friends. Then last summer, I found myself with my sisters sitting in a hospital room next to my mother as she suffered a heart attack.
No symptoms. No warnings. And none of the risk factors.
She had no symptoms, no warnings and none of the risk factors for heart disease, but the tests showed that she had heart disease for many years. In a moment she went from a vibrant, active, healthy, energetic woman to the brink of death. And in that same moment, my commitment to AHA became very personal. So, I'm here to ask you to please learn about the factors that increase your risk for heart disease. For your community, for your family, and for yourself, please join us. Get involved. Wear red. Share your story and help us put an end to the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, more than all forms of cancer combined. It was back in 2003 that research revealed this shocking truth and the AHA took action to save lives and raise awareness of this silent killer by forming Go Red for Women, a movement symbolized by a red dress whose purpose is to raise funds for educational programs and critical research about cardiovascular health.
The Importance of Wearing Red
To bring further attention to their cause, the AHA designated the first Friday in February as National Wear Red Day®a special day for everyone – not just women - to wear red, acknowledge their cardiovascular risks and take action to live longer, healthier lives. Since the first National Wear Red Day® in 2003, some amazing things have happened:
- 34 percent fewer women now die from heart disease, saving 330 lives every day;
- Awareness is up. 23 percent more Americans now realize heart disease is the #1 killer of women;
- More communities have joined the fight. Registration in Go Red for Women is now more than 1.75 million.
Many more successes have been achieved as well. Join me – and other Webster bankers – as we wear red on Feb. 7 to shine the spotlight on how much more work there is still to be done. Last year, I put on my red dress to support this effort for our community and for all our friends who we've lost or who have been challenged by this disease. This year, I'm also thinking about my mom, and how grateful I am that she is here to celebrate this year's campaign with us.