The normally True Blue MTSU campus added a dash of red to the color scheme Friday, Feb. 3, to celebrate National Wear Red Day.
The campus community attended MTSU Health Services and Health Promotions festivities for an annual event to raise awareness for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign. It was held in the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium in the Science Building at 9:30 a.m.
And, for this occasion, it was totally OK for the nearly 70 campus employees to wear red.
Those attending learned about risks and symptoms of heart disease in women and men, too. They also took part in games and activities, with an opportunity to win prizes.
Heart disease affects millions of Americans each year. Heart disease and stroke kill one in three women, but it is nearly 80 percent preventable.
Many on campus have been affected. One was Carolyn Hopper, now a retired professor in University Studies. She shared her personal story with the audience. It began with having difficulty to breathe as the fall 2014 semester ended and Christmas holidays approached.
Things escalated to the point where her body was in cardiac arrest as she reached the hospital emergency room. She was sent to Nashville to insert a stint in her heart, then returned to St. Thomas Rutherford for rehabilitation.
"It was scary," Hopper said at the conclusion of the campus event. "It made me pay attention. I really watch what I eat and I go to SportsCom five to six days a week. The doctors, in following up, said that made a difference."
Ellen Slicker, board president for the Rutherford County American Heart Association, provided a welcome for attendees.
For anyone unable to attend the event, Lisa Schrader, director of Health Promotion, said they can still GO RED:
• Get your numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
• Own your lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
• Raise your voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
• Educate your family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your children the importance of staying active.
• Donate: Show your support with a donation of time or money.
To learn more about the national movement, visit http://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/.