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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Luncheon Serves Up Heart Health Education

A sea of red ebbed and flowed through the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich as more than 600 women from Fairfield and Westchester counties met for a Go Red luncheon. Waiters darted between tables with food and refreshments, but empowerment and awareness were the main course.

“We need to make it our mission to put ourselves first,” said author and television personality Emme. “If heart disease is the leading killer of women, I want to talk about it,” she added.

“Go Red” is a national campaign to raise awareness that the greatest threat to a woman’s life expectancy is not cancer, but heart disease. One in three women in American will face heart disease. By comparison, one in 23 will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Go Red speakers.

Go Red Luncheon Chair Rona Siegel said she knows she doesn’t look like the stereotypical image of someone at risk for heart disease. Her desire to join the cause became personal when her mother’s heart was being tested. While waiting for the results, Siegel got a call: Her 51-year-old father had died from a heart attack.

“Heart disease doesn’t discriminate,” Siegel said. She said people need to leave the luncheon with a desire to talk to the women in their lives and make them aware that heart disease is a serious concern for everyone. “You may save a life,” she said.

Symptoms pose their own complication . “Women don’t tend to experience pain when they are exerting themselves,” said Dr. Linda Cuomo from the Westchester Medical Center . “They are more likely to feel it at night when they are resting.” She said that in many cases women don’t get the chest and arm pain men often associate with a cardiac event. Instead they feel tired and drained.

The luncheon raised money for the American Heart Association, which provides 135 cardiovascular research awards worth more than $28 million. The Greenwich Go Red event was sponsored by Macy’s and Merck , and Stamford Hospital was the local Cause Sponsor. For more information about Go Red, visit

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