On Monday, January 30th, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee signed a proclamation to declare Friday, February 3, 2023 Wear Red Day in the City of Laurel. Citizens are asked to Wear Red to raise awareness about heart health.
February has been recognized as National Heart month since 1964. For many years, cardiovascular health was thought to be primarily a concern for older men, but as more research has been conducted, heart health has become a hot topic for women’s health experts and advocates as well.
Since 2001, advocates for women’s health have promoted the Wear Red Day program to encourage people to wear red on the first Friday in February to raise awareness about heart health for women.
Locally, Ms. Faye Jackson and members of the Order of the Eastern Star have been advocates for women’s heart health and in promoting this event.
During the Monday morning proclamation signing, Ms. Jackson shared the story of her daughter Kaila Porter who passed away in 2006 at age 23. Porter was diagnosed with an enlarged heart when she was six months old and was not expected to live to adulthood. “I say it was enlarged because it was full of love,” Jackson stated. Jackson shared that her daughter was proud to beat the odds and live to 18, although doctors had told them that she would not. At 21, Porter would say, “I’m not supposed to be here, but I made it.” Jackson stated that it was always important to her that her daughter’s wishes for her care be carried out and, ultimately, Porter decided to move into a group home. She passed away a short time later.
“I miss my baby. I love my baby.” Jackson said during the emotional event. Jackson stated that she participates in the Wear Red Day annual event in memory of her daughter and would like to see the whole town “painted red” in recognition of heart health. Jackson explained that it is important to raise awareness so that people know that heart health is a serious issue that can affect men, women, and children.
The proclamation read as follows:
WHEREAS, heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in every four deaths among women; and
WHEREAS, women’s risk of heart disease begins to increase between ages forty and sixty; and
WHEREAS, women historically, have failed to make the connection between risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol and their personal risk of developing heart disease; and
WHEREAS, research reveals that most women underestimate their personal risk and do not fully understand the devastating impact that heart disease has on one’s life and family; and
WHEREAS, Wear Red Day is a program which was begun in 2001 when seventy leading experts in women’s health sought to develop a national action plan to reduce the toll of heart disease on American women; and
WHEREAS, Wear Red Day is designed to get attention, to convey the seriousness of heart disease, and to change the perception that heart disease is only a man’s issue; and
WHEREAS, the first Friday in February of each year has been designated Wear Red Day by The Heart Truth, which is the national campaign for awareness of women’s heart health sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); and
WHEREAS, the City of Laurel wishes to participate in this worthwhile program
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Johnny Magee, Mayor of the City of Laurel, do hereby declare Friday, February 3, 2023 as National Wear Red Day in the City of Laurel and encourage all citizens to educate themselves about the risk factors of heart disease in women, the seriousness of the impact of heart disease on women and their families, and the importance of taking actions among women to protect their heart health.