Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 25 percent of every single death in the country. It’s an unfortunate and astonishingly high number, especially since the disease can be managed with proper diet, exercise and doctor check ups. In an effort to raise awareness of heart disease and dispel popular myths in order to promote prevention, the Orange County based non-profit charity GUARDaHEART put on a charity fundraiser at the Santa Ana Lyon Air Museum in recognition of The Word Heart Federation’s World Heart Day and to highlight which actions can be taken to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Upon arriving to the black tie James Bond-themed event, I knew little about how significant heart disease is, and my risk as a female. Many people assume that heart disease is a man’s disease, but it actually affects women more than men. Almost five times as many women die from heart attacks alone each year than die from breast cancer, with one in 20 female deaths due to breast cancer, while one in six were due to coronary heart disease.
In order to bring important myths versus facts to light, GUARDaHEART filled the Lyon Air Museum with ‘Walls of Facts’ stating how significant taking care of your heart is, and sharing how you can make better choices for your body.
Guests were greeted with complimentary glasses of Bon Affair sparkling wine to begin the evening. Proving that you can be heart happy and taste friendly, Bon Affair has zero added sugar, added electrolytes and in addition to being only 300 calories per bottle, they have an impressive 6.5% alcohol per volume. Who knew you could drink sparkling wine while looking out for your health!
For food, there was a delectable assortment of options from chicken skewers to caprese salad and ahi tuna shooters. For lighter faire, fresh fruits, veggies, and cheese varieties were perfectly placed next to the line for the open bar, where guests were treated to shaken, not stirred, cocktails in keeping with the James Bond theme.
While the food and drinks were appreciated, the main highlight of the evening was watching His Highness, Sheik Khalid Bin Jabor Al Thani in partnership with Aviir, Inc. present three prestigious honors at the event: the National Heart Award, International Heart Award, and the American Hero Award.
To help gain charity donations for a great cause, a silent auction was set up with amazing items ranging from trips and clothing to signed memorabilia from the Anaheim Ducks and The Los Angeles Angels. Being a sports fan, I had seen signed Angels jerseys at multiple events, but it was exciting seeing actual signed baseball bats from the players and hockey pucks from the Anaheim Ducks.
All proceeds from the event went towards providing education, detection, and prevention resources for the global community including members of the military, first responders, and low-income families, so the donations were well worth it!
In all, even though the night was focused on celebrating the achievements of many doctors and medical professionals, I found myself spending a majority of my time learning about heart disease and how to make good choices so that I’m not a statistic down the line.
Since women as young as 30 can be at risk, with the rate of sudden cardiac death in women in their 30’s and 40’s increased 21 percent since 1990, taking preventive measures is key.
To learn your risk for heart disease, GUARDaHEART has an online test you can take on their website that allows you to find your heart’s risk test score and to learn more on how you can help prevent getting heart disease down the line.
To learn more about heart disease, how heart disease affects women, and to learn your risk, visit http://www.guardaheart.org/prevent/
Thank you GUARDaHEART for providing complimentary admission to the charity event for us to learn more about heart disease and how to spread the word on prevention.