Thursday, April 06, 2006

Going Red

Yesterday, I put on a jaunty red jacket and my favorite boots and went downtown to have lunch with girlfriends. Going out to lunch isn't something I do very often, but this time I justified the time and expense because my attendance was for a good cause and in honor of one of my most special friends.

Eight years ago, when our sons were in Kindergarten, my 28 year old friend Michelle, a skinny former college soccer player, suffered a major heart attack and almost died. One of the many shocking things about the situation was the fact that Michelle had no previous history of cardiac disease.

In typical Michelle fashion, she turned her dilemna into an opportunity to serve others. After dealing with years of doctors visits, surgeries and invasive medical procedures, Michelle has become an advocate for the Go Red for Women mission:

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s nationwide movement that celebrates the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together and wipe out heart disease. Thanks to the participation of millions of people across the country, the color red and the red dress have become linked with the ability all women have to improve their heart health and live stronger, longer lives. The movement gives women tips and information on healthy eating, exercise and risk factor reduction, such as smoking cessation, weight maintenance, blood pressure control, and blood cholesterol management.

The lunch was followed by a fashion show featuring heart survivors. As I watched my beautiful friend Michelle up there stutting her stuff on the runway, I said I silent prayer of thanksgiving for people like her - people who don't let the crosses of life get them down...people who make this world a better, more healthy and loving place for others...people who have an optomistic attitude that's infectious - who make you want to look for opportunities in your own life to be of service to others.

Thanks for the lunch and the friendship Michelle. You look marvelous in Red!

To learn more about Go Red for Women and how you can reduce your own risk of heart disease visit Go Red for Women.

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