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Go Red for Women raises awareness about heart disease in women

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 5:25 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It’s no coincidence we’re all wearing red today.

Today is National Wear Red Day in support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

It’s a day to raise awareness about heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States.

And especially during the pandemic, it’s so crucial to be aware of your health.

“As women, we tend to juggle a lot anyway and of course the pandemic has added a new layer of things that we have to juggle or think about and we tend to put ourselves last and the bottom of the list. Take time when you are feeling a little overwhelmed, step away from it and take a breather. Sit down for 5 minutes or take a walk, find ways to reduce that stress, everything will be there when you come back to it but you are not good for anyone else if you are not take care of yourself,” says Amy Kintz, Go Red for Women chair.

And we all know, good heart health means staying active and living a healthy lifestyle.

But meet Becky Dodd.

This Michiana native who retired in Florida thought she was healthy. She loves working out and is always in the pool.

But one day in 2015, when she was 61, sharp jaw pain came out of nowhere.

Lauren: “Did you wake up feeling off at all? I know you said you were getting the house ready for some guests, right?”

“Right but no I felt great. I had no previous symptoms at all. I can’t think of anything you know I went back over everything and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I was flabbergasted and I didn’t know what was going on. I googled jaw pain, because it was all in my jaw and Dr. Oz’s website comes up saying get to the hospital immediately. I just kept saying I can’t believe I had a heart attack and I had 100 percent blockage in my main artery, they call it the widow maker.”

According to the American Heart Association, the survival rate following a widow maker heart attack is only 12 percent, so Becky is so grateful to be alive and is sharing her story to help other women.

And it’s important to know heart attacks don’t always mean chest pain.

For women symptoms can include nausea, arm pain, jaw pain like Becky had, as well as sweating and overtiredness.

For more details on heart health from the American Heart Association, click here.

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