Friday, Feb. 5th is Go Red for Women day and it is a reminder to everyone that heart disease is still the most deadly disease in the United States.
Local woman, Charla Hardimon suffered a heart attack when she was just 41-years-old, she says she knows lifestyle choices played a big factor in causing her to have a heart attack.
“I really feel like my heart attack came from my eating habits, my daily… I was a cigarette smoker," says Hardimon
That day changed everything for her.
“It changed everything, so it changed my eating habits, it changed the way I get up in my routine, and my exercise and I am walking, and I am proud to say I haven't smoked a cigarette since September 22nd, 2018," says Hardimon.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through modest changes to diet and lifestyle. But, heart disease continues to claim a woman’s life every 80 seconds.
The association says cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer of women, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women – more than any cancer combined.
Despite the devastating toll of COVID-19, the Heart Association says heart disease remains the number 1 cause of death in the U.S and worldwide.
Older women are not the only ones affected, heart disease and stroke can affect a woman at any age.
The association says 45% of women age 20 and older are living with some form of heart disease, however, new data suggests Gen Z and Millennial women are less likely to be aware that heart disease is their greatest health threat.
Charla says she is grateful to be alive.
"I know I am a survivor and so many didn't survive. And so I am very blessed and I don't take a day, not a day for granted," says Hardimon
Now she has planted a garden in her yard to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for her family.
She, like so many women, is someone who gives to those around her. She wants to remind women you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.
“Take time to self-care and to know your body, know the signs, you know to eat healthy," says Hardimon.
If you haven't left the house yet, you are encouraged to wear red and post a picture on social media using the hashtags Go Red OKC and hashtag Wear Red And Give.
You can donate to the American Heart Association as well.
Visit WearRedDay.org to make a donation that supports the life-saving work of the American Heart Association.