The American Heart Association celebrates American Heart Month.
By: Erin Wilder
Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time in February you should be tending to matters of the heart. February is officially American Heart Month, recognized as such annually by every president since LBJ first started the tradition in 1964.
Cardiovascular diseases and stroke are still the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of Americans, respectively, but the American Heart Association is celebrating 50 years of successes with extraordinary advances in cardiovascular health and consecutive annual declines in heart-related deaths. These successes, and the continuous need for further education and outreach, continue in Corpus Christi this February. Our local chapter of the American Heart Association will be busy around town all month; here’s where you can catch them:
National Wear Red Day
The first Friday of February is National Wear Red Day, a day to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Many think of heart disease as an older men’s condition, but in reality, it kills more women every year than all forms of cancer combined, and it is women’s No. 1 health threat. Awareness is key to transforming women’s lives and helping them mitigate their risk factors. All women – and the men who love them – are invited to participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 5, by wearing red and sharing on social media with the hashtag, #CorpusGoRed, to amplify this lifesaving message. The Harbor Bridge will be lit up to mark the day.
Little Hats, Big Hearts
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States, but thanks to advances in science and technology, more and more of these littlest hearts are surviving – and thriving. Volunteers for the American Heart Association spent the past holiday season knitting and crocheting little red hats, one for every baby born in Corpus Christi in the month of February (an estimated 800 little ones) to raise awareness of congenital heart defects and share infant heart health info with newborns’ families. This is the first year this national project has taken place in the Coastal Bend, but the American Heart Association hopes to expand it in future years.
Heart of Rock & Roll Heart Ball
The annual Corpus Christi Heart Ball attracts more than 500 of the city’s community leaders in medicine and business and is the American Heart Association’s premier fundraising event in the region. This year’s “rock & roll chic” soiree includes an elegant dinner, silent and live auctions and live music. Local volunteers, supporters and donors will be recognized, along with the night’s honorees Sue and Dr. Robert Madry, Jr. and Dr. Rosie and Ruben Bonilla. The 2016 Corpus Christi Heart Ball is presented by Citgo. Nationwide, the Heart Ball campaign raises more than $50 million annually, allowing the American Heart Association to fund cardiovascular and stroke research on a scale second only to the federal government.
You can get involved
You can learn more about the American Heart Association and American Heart Month by visiting www.heart.org. Or you can get involved locally in the mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, by following the American Heart Association online at www.facebook.com/ahacorpus.
For more information, visit www.heart.org.
Photos courtesy of American Heart Association