February is known for love and Valentine’s Day. Storefronts and t-shirts are covered in red hearts. However, if you ask Allison Harris, February is Heart Month – but not the same heart you may be thinking about. Allison celebrates the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women with the Go Red for Women movement.
What is the Go Red For Women Movement?
One in four women dies from heart disease in the United States each year. In fact, heart disease is more deadly for women in the United States than all forms of cancer combined. However, women associate breast cancer as the number one health risk for women. The American Heart Association designed the Go Red for Women platform to increase women’s health awareness worldwide and provide education and tools to improve the lives of women throughout the world. The American Heart Association knows that nearly 80% of cardiac events can be prevented. Through education, this number one women’s health threat can be radically reduced.
Why is Allison Committed to Go Red for Women?
This is when Allison Harris comes into the picture. At the age of 44, while in great health, Allison suffered a major heart attack. Allison had always lived an active, healthy lifestyle and worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. However, during a family vacation, she suffered a major heart attack and had to have nine blockages removed.
Allison explained that she knew her family had a history of heart disease. She also said she did not have high cholesterol and lived such an active lifestyle, she had no idea of the risk. It was then she made it her life mission to educate women on the risks of heart disease in women and teach women how to make healthier choices to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
How Has Allison Harris Made A Difference?
Nine months after Allison had her heart attack, she became certified in Zumba and used the fitness franchise as a strategy to engage women. The fun, upbeat dancing is something that everyone can do – and is more inviting, and less intimidating than other fitness programs. Over the last decade, Allison has hosted fundraisers and become the highest individual donor for the American Heart Association of Bay Area. She is also a recognized award-winner of the prestigious Jefferson Award.
Every February, Allison partners with Delta Valley Health Club and hosts a “Party Hearty Zumba Dance-Athon” where local East County residents dance their way to health – while making important monetary donations to the American Heart Association and supporting the Women Go Red movement.
Allison also kicks off her annual fundraising in the community with a Fashion Show. This year, her fashion show will be hosted at Campos Family Vineyard called Pour Your Heart Out and Dance the Night Away. Not only is it another playful way to celebrate family and women’s health, but it is also a powerful fundraiser supporting the American Heart Association in the Bay Area.
How You Can Become Involved
There are many ways you can support Allison Harris and her quest to educate women on heart health and teach them how to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. First, every year, keep an eye out for the Zumba Dance Party hosted at Delta Valley Health Club. Second, you can purchase tickets to attend the Pour Your Heart Out Fashion Show hosted at Campos Family Vineyard. Finally, you can visit the American Heart Association Go Red page and learn what you can do to improve your health and support the organization. One lesson we can learn from Allison is that it is never too late to learn how to take care of your heart.