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Glow Red Gathering Celebrates American Heart Month
Cheryl Burke
Guest speaker Cheryl Burke, TV personality, author and professional dancer shared some health tips and her own personal experiences with the audience. Virginia Still/The Times

The month of February is American Heart Month and the first Friday is National Wear Red Day, which was celebrated at the Glow Red event sponsored by Doctors Medical Center (DMC) and the American Heart Association. The Friday, Feb. 3 event was designed to raise awareness about heart disease. The breakfast was held at The Century in Modesto and began with a greeting from DMC’s Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Harless.

The sea of red, whether it was the red accents on the tables, the décor or the attendees in red clothing or red accessories, the show of support for heart health was unmistakable.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death, with more than 17 million deaths each year. They added that the number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030. To raise awareness about heart disease, which is the number one killer of women, National Wear Red day was created 15 years ago.

Harless explained that DMC is the largest hospital in the region with 465 beds taking care of over 26,000 admitted patients each year.

Valley Heart Institute Cardiologist Dr. Navneet Dullet spoke to the crowd about heart health and how important it is to get tested and to live a healthy lifestyle. “Heart disease is the biggest killer of women,” stated Dullet. “More women are dying from heart disease than men. Heart disease in women is causing more deaths than all of the cancers combined.”

Dullet added that women are always trying to take care of everyone else like the home, children, pets, and their husband before they think about taking care of themselves. She also stated that African American and Latino women are more at risk for heart disease along with women that have diabetes.

Guest speaker Cheryl Burke, TV personality and professional dancer, took the stage and shared with the audience how important it is to stay active. She also engaged in a questions and answer session with the crowd.

The Bay Area native shared that she began dancing at four years old. With a love for dancing, Burke expressed that the TV show Dancing with the Stars has changed her life.

“I love dancing so much,” said Burke. “I have had wonderful experiences, most of the time.

“Do what you love and love what you do.”

With no love for the treadmill, Burke explained that she enjoys a variety of physical activity like playing tennis, hiking, and of course some Salsa dancing. She added working out with friends or family is also helpful to staying committed to fitness and making it enjoyable. Sticking to a clean and healthy meal plan along with eating breakfast helps Burke stay healthy.

“The final lesson for me that changed my life is being able to overcome adversity,” stated Burke. “When challenges come your way you can either get better or bitter. I chose to get better.

“Those are the three keys, be willing to make changes, be ready to find your passion and be able to overcome adversity. I truly encourage every single person in this room to stay active, be healthy and avoid heart disease.”

Wrapping up the event was Michaela Purnell, owner of Sukha Studios, who led the guests through relaxation exercises.