Valencia students walk to fight heart disease

By Manuel Marquez
[email protected]

The Valencia Volunteers, led by the Student Government Association, held an informative meeting on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming Greater Orlando Heart Walk organized by the American Heart Association. Allison Smith, assistant development director for the AHA, was a guest speaker and as a presenter for the meeting. Smith has been with AHA for over a year and works logistics for the “Go Red” for women, a campaign designed for fundraising and development for women’s awareness of heart disease.

A video featuring actress Elizabeth Banks and entitled “Just a little heart attack” was an amusing take on a very serious problem; women who are unaware of the dangers of heart disease. Banks portrays a house mom juggling too much at one time while in the meantime is suffering symptoms of a heart attack. She is so busy and oblivious to the signs that she refuses to admit it until she collapses on the floor.

Smith informed the crowd about the dangers of heart disease and exactly how dangerous it is. She spoke about how deaths by heart disease were reducing for men, but climbing for women, killing more females than breast cancer. Women tend to wait one or two more hours than men would to call an ambulance when exhibiting symptoms of a heart attack.

“Women delay in their health because of their other responsibilities: work, kids, and managing households,” said Smith. “Most think it’s only a man’s disease.”

The AHA  developed the “2020 impact goal,” which aims to  improve cardiovascular health by 20 percent while simultaneously reducing deaths.
The heart walk is just one step in that plan.