Every year the American Heart Association hosts the Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon to bring greater awareness of heart disease to southeast Michigan. The annual fundraiser typically draws more than 600 women, and this year’s event is bound to be another success with Laila Ali as keynote speaker. The luncheon will be
held Friday, February 6, at 9:00 a.m. at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.
“Our yearlong campaign to educate women about heart disease culminates with this luncheon,” said Janice Cosby Bridges, who is the chair of this year’s luncheon. “We are looking forward to having Laila at this year’s event.”
Laila, a former boxer and popular television host, is passionate about promoting healthier lifestyles among women.
“After years of training, I’ve realized healthy habits are formed when you fuel your body with the right ingredients,” said Laila. “My goal is to help others discover the champion within themselves by sharing my wellness journey.”
She credited Go Red for Women for reducing the number of deaths from heart disease in women in the U.S.
“But we can’t stop there. More women need to take a stand to end heart disease,” she said.
Janice, who is chief marketing officer for St. John Providence Health System, said that more women die from heart disease than all cancers combined. Also, African-American women are disproportionately affected by the disease and high blood pressure.
According to Janice, heart attack symptoms in women are different than those men experience. Common symptoms include numbness, nausea, shortness of breath and pain in the jaw, among others.
“It’s important for women to educate themselves about this silent killer. This is a deadly disease, but it doesn’t have to be if we make changes in our lives,” she said. “It’s my dream that every woman find a primary care physician. We’re so busy taking care of other people that we don’t get the preventative care we need.”
Preventive information can be life-changing! My hope is that women share information with their sisters, girlfriends and as many women as possible, she said.
The importance of living a healthy life hits close to home for Janice, who lost her mother at a young age to a rare form of cancer.
“I always had a fear about getting cancer, but through this campaign, I have learned that I’m more likely to die of heart disease than cancer,” she explained. “Your health is not a commodity. It’s important to change some of our habits and get exercise.”
The goal of the luncheon is to encourage women to make a lifelong commitment to healthier lifestyles. Janice hopes more women are moved to get involved with Go Red for Women by attending the luncheon, volunteering and attending other American Heart Association events year-round.
“We all need to check our [health] numbers, stop smoking, lose weight or change our diet,” she said. “There’s always small changes we all can make in our lives.”
Visit DetroitGoRedforWomen.org for more information about the American Heart Association, or to buy tickets to the upcoming luncheon.