American Heart Association's Go Red campaign dedicated to spreading awareness

Heart disease leading cause of death in women

INDIANAPOLIS - Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, and for one local woman, the day has special meaning.

Two weeks after her 50th birthday, Linda Wagner had a physical. She had high cholesterol but did not want to go on medication.

Just days later, she almost died. She said her stomach started hurting, almost like really bad indigestion.

"My son Brad, who never stops by at that time in the afternoon, just happened to stop by. And when he saw me he immediately said, 'Mom, what's wrong?' And I said, 'My stomach is kind of bothering me.' And he said 'What are your symptoms?' So I told him that I felt a little weak under the arms, had a little bit of jaw pain," Wagner said.

Although she didn't believe it, she later found out she was having a heart attack.

"The doctor said if I had just gone to bed, I more than likely would have passed away. Very scary. Because if my son hadn't have stopped by, I probably would have just gone to bed thinking I had a stomach ache," Wagner said.

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women, killing more women than all forms of cancer.

The American Heart Association's Go Red campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of those atypical symptoms in women.

Several offices, even buildings, "went red" on Friday to help spread the message.

"We still have a long way to go. I think we still have about 50 percent of the women that don't recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and don't get help," Wendy King with the Indianapolis chapter of the American Heart Association said.

Wagner now eats healthier, works out and takes medicine. She said the Go Red message is one every woman needs to hear.

"It could save your life, honestly," Wagner said.

Officials hope to raise about $700,000 for the Go Red campaign in 2014.

The next big event is the Indianapolis Go Red For Women Luncheon on Feb. 21 at the JW Marriott. Tickets for the event are now available. Click here for more information --

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