“It’s very important:” National Wear Red Day raises awareness on women’s heart disease

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MILWAUKEE -- You may have noticed a lot of people wearing red on Friday, February 2nd. The first Friday in February is an annual push to raise awareness for the danger of heart disease in women. Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center offers plenty of resources to help combat that killer.

Linda Tomczyk is coming up on a big anniversary.

“That was actually a year ago in March," the South Milwaukee resident remembers.

The month when she and her husband decided to change their lives dramatically.

“The year 2017, the both of us lost a total of a hundred pounds," Tomczyk states.

And it was thanks in large part to the staff at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center's Karen Yontz Women’s Cardiac Awareness Center.

“Every first Friday in February is celebrated as the Go Red Day," says Dr. Lakshmi Muthukumar, a cardiologist at St. Luke's.

National Wear Red Day brings awareness to the No. 1 killer of women – heart disease. But here’s a more uplifting statistic for you – 80% of heart disease deaths are preventable.

“First, we encourage them to know their heart numbers," Muthukumar says. "Which means their total cholesterol, their good cholesterol, their body mass index, their blood pressure.”

Many of those tests can be conducted at the Karen Yontz Center. Plus, nurses and a registered dietician can help with healthy-living tips. Linda and her husband started dining out differently.

“We like to [take] half of our meal home, something we’ve learned through the classes," Tomczyk says. "And when we go places, it’s not always by car. We’re doing more walking, a lot more biking.”

The cardiologists at St. Luke’s say these are the types of changes that have a lasting impact.

“When we see people who are trying to prevent the disease, it’s very important," says Muthukumar. "I think staying healthy is the focus here, rather than treating the disease once you have it."

“We have a lot more energy," Tomczyk states. "We’re able to keep up with our two grandchildren.”

A life more fully lived, thanks to some help along the way.

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