____Posted Tuesday May 16 2017 ____

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Red Day

Waterloo Region wears red on June 9 th in support of the women they love!

Heart disease is a leading cause of death among Canadian Women; most are unaware.

Waterloo Region - When it originated in partnership with the Manulife LPGA Classic in 2013, Red Day aimed to elevate awareness of the serious risk of heart disease in women by having LPGA players, spectators and volunteers dress in red on sit e on the Friday of the tournament. But in recent years, Red Day has stretched beyond the course, rallying individuals, workplaces and community leaders from across Waterloo Region to celebrate Red Day by wearing red and sharing images on social media whi ch tag #RedDayFriday.

This year promises to be even bigger! Red Day celebrations will be found acro ss all of the city and township offices, at both the public and catholic school boards, at many workplaces, retailers and restaurants. “The enthusiasm from golfers, volunteers, spectators and the community on Red Day is inspiring and appreciated ,” said Marianne Harrison , President & CEO, Manulife Canada. “ Manulife is proud to partner with St. Mary’s on raising funds and awareness for heart health . We believe t he healthy habits we develop today will have a positive impact on our future w ellbeing. ”

Don Shilton, President of St. Mary’s General Hospital said, “As the primary cardiac service provider for Waterloo Region and beyond, St. Mary’s assumes responsibilit y to not only treat cardiac health concerns, but to provide the education which may prevent them.”

Heart disease continues to be one of the most serious health issues facing Canadian women. Every year, heart disease claims the life of roughly 23,000 women ; more than the five most prevalent cancers combined*. Yet surprisingly, many women are still unaware of the contributing risk factors, and their ability to control many through lifestyle choices.

Something 2017 Red Day spokesperson, Fran Gregory knows f irst - hand. “As I began the long walk to work from the parking lot, I knew I was unwell” reflects Fran, “By the time I reached the building I was sweating and quickly overwhelmed by the feeling of being over heated. It only took a few seconds of unbearable , stabbing pain behind my shoulder blade to realize what was happening; I was having a heart attack.”

The 60 - year - old communications professor didn’t think she fit the profile for heart disease. “I was relatively healthy, active, and a woman. My only com plaint was a bit of heartburn. I thought, “I can’t be having a heart attack!” But years of long hours, stress and work overload, combined with an unidentified family history of heart disease, finally took their toll.

The campus physician and paramedics arrived within minutes and Fran was quickly transported to St. Mary’s. “Had I not been so close to cardiac services, I wouldn’t have survived.”

This Friday June 9, 2017...join hundreds in Waterloo Region as we join together and wear Red in support of St. M ary’s and the women we love!

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