by guest blogger Laura Tellado (@Laurita86)
Yesterday, thousands of Americans rallied together in monochrome unison in support of heart health.
February 4th was designated “National Wear Red Day,” and the American Heart Association’s signature color was sported proudly to raise awareness of the #1 killer in America—and of Latina women. And they did so with good reason.
The statistics are nothing if not sobering. According to the American Heart Association Web site, “On average, 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day” —and it is estimated to kill one woman every minute.
This risk is increased by the laundry list of related conditions Latinos are already at high risk for, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity, the Hispanic PR Newswire reported on Thursday.
So why do these killer conditions seem to be cloaked in secrecy, and why is this vital information kept away from the Latino community? To put a twist on an old adage, Mahoma debe ir a la montaña! (Muhammad must go to the mountain!)
We Latinos have within our grasp the power to become knowledgeable regarding the issues that impact us the most. But, in order to become enlightened, we must be willing and active information-seekers. Let’s use the resources we’ve gleaned so far from the 21st century, and put them to work for us.
Your personal health– whether it’s heart, lung, liver, kidney or brain—is of the utmost importance, and you have to be the loudest voice in this room!
Latinos have historically demonstrated a sense of community that is at the very “heart” of our beliefs and values. It compels us to selflessly share information and resources with our family members, neighbors, classmates, co-workers and fellow churchgoers.
It’s about la comunidad, and the exchange of ideas and tips. It’s about sharing not only a set of cultural values, but also a set of biological markers that make us more likely to share the same afflictions.
But, more importantly, it’s about you. That’s what truly lies at the heart of the matter.
ABOUT LAURA TELLADO: Laura is a journalist/blogger from Puerto Rico dedicated to generate public awareness of Spina Bifida, a neural tube defect of the spinal cord that is the #1 cause of paralysis in children in America. Follow Laura on Twitter @Laurita86. Read more about her campaign at her blog: http://holdinoutforahero.org/