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Glow Red event motivates women to stay alive with heart healthy lifestyles
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Attendees at the at the Glow Red Luncheon practice hands-only CPR to the beat of "Stayin' Alive." - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

Over 300 women moved to the beat of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" during an event hosted by Emanuel Medical Center on Friday. It wasn't a disco revival, but instead a way for those in attendance at the Glow Red Luncheon in honor of National Wear Red Day to practice hands-only CPR at the right speed — at least 100 chest compressions per minute.

The group lesson in hands-only CPR was just one way that Emanuel encouraged those at the luncheon to be informed about women's heart health.

The hospital set up blood pressure check stations and encouraged the women to complete an online cardiac risk assessment at the event held at the Assyrian American Civic Club. Emanuel's Chest Pain Coordinator Christine O'Brien also listed the common signs and symptoms of heart attack and the importance of seeking immediate medical attention during a cardiac event.

"Our goal is to motivate you to take new steps or take renewed steps to live a heart healthy life," said Emanuel CEO Sue Micheletti.

Micheletti also emphasized the importance of everyone 'knowing their numbers' — blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar level and body mass index.

"My golf score from three years ago, not pretty...I know so many other numbers, but now I also know my blood pressure," she said.

Another way to prevent heart disease, according to the health experts at the event, is to stay active. The Glow Red Luncheon focused on one of the fun ways to exercise — through dancing. Members of the Dancing with the Turlock Stars organization performed at the event and the guest speaker was Cheryl Burke from the popular TV show "Dancing with the Stars."

Burke shared a little about her love of dancing, which started at the age of 4 with ballet and turned to ballroom by the time she was 11.

"My mom taught me at a very young age to stay healthy," said Burke reminiscing about doing Jane Fonda workouts and going to jazzercise with her mother. "She wasn't telling me what to do, I was just following her."

Burke also shared with the audience what she called "three valuable life lessons" — be willing to take chances, be ready to find your passion and be able to overcome adversity.

Burke said that her decision to leave her burgeoning competitive ballroom dancing career to be one of the professional dancers on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2006 was a hard decision, but one she's glad she made all those years ago.

"You need to be willing to live in the moment and follow your passion," she said.

As the show became more popular through the 19 seasons Burke performed, her celebrity status brought with it problems also.

"I learned an important lesson, I don't have to please anyone but myself," she said.

This was the second year that Emanuel has hosted a luncheon that focuses on women's heart health issues as part of the American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day. Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. The campaign aims to get the word out about heart health as 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events could be prevented with education and action.

This year's Emanuel Glow Red Luncheon raised $13,595 for the American Heart Association.