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Michigan "Goes Red for Women" on Friday

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PHOTO: Janine Krolikowski proudly wears red in memory of the heart attack she survived 11 years ago, and hopes that others in Michigan will join in the fight against heart disease. Photo courtesy of Krolikowski.
PHOTO: Janine Krolikowski proudly wears red in memory of the heart attack she survived 11 years ago, and hopes that others in Michigan will join in the fight against heart disease. Photo courtesy of Krolikowski.
February 4, 2014

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - Red and hearts are all around this month, and the American Heart Association hopes Michiganders will put the two together this Friday, to join in the fight against the number-one killer of women - which some people may be surprised to learn is heart disease.

Janine Krolikowski of Royal Oak, an AHA spokeswoman, lost both her parents to heart disease at an early age, and as a cardiac ultrasound technician, she knew the warning signs. However, she said, she still downplayed her own heart attack symptoms until it was almost too late.

"The one thing I did right that day is, I took an aspirin when I thought it was cardiac-related," she recalled. "What I did wrong was, I didn't call 911 immediately."

Friday marks the 11th annual National Wear Red Day. Men and women alike are encouraged to wear the color to help raise awareness of heart disease, which according to the Heart Association claims more women's lives each year than all forms of cancer combined.

Krolikowski said she hopes the simple act of wearing red will help remind women across Michigan just how critical it is to take care of themselves.

"Everything takes priority and we end up at the bottom of the heap, and that has to change for women, because if we're not here, we can't take care of our children, we won't be able take care of our husbands, or work," she warned. "We need to make that a number-one priority."

The American Heart Association estimates that 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.

More information on the "Go Red" campaign is at GoRedForWomen.org.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI