Heart health program participants excited to 'Go Red'Ten Northland women sat in the deli area of the Miller Hill Super One Foods on Tuesday night sharing stories about frightening health encounters.
By: Alysee Shelton, Duluth News Tribune
Ten Northland women sat in the deli area of the Miller Hill Super One Foods on Tuesday night sharing stories about frightening health encounters.
“I suffered from a stroke not too long ago,” said Megan Olson. “It was scary. I want to live to be able to see my 5-year-old daughter grow up.”
Jody Draper, a secretary at Solvay Hospice House, also wants to be able to live to see the future.
“I’ve had a long history of heart and cardiac problems,” Draper said. “I’ve worked in the medical field for 28 years and seen a lot of heart-related deaths. I want to be able to save my own life.”
These women were selected out of 77 applicants for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Makeover Challenge.
The women are participating in a 10-week heart health program with the help of medical professionals from Essentia Health and St. Luke’s.
The women will have to maintain their fitness by working out, attend their health screening appointments and plan healthier meals. They also have the option of attending a stress program in case they are feeling hopeless or frustrated.
“The challenge won’t be easy, but these women can succeed,” said Jen Riemenschneider, regional vice president of communications for the American Heart Association.
After sharing stories, Bonnie Brost, a registered dietitian from Essentia Health, led a tour around the grocery store, to show the women what foods they should and shouldn’t add to their grocery list.
While walking around the store asking questions of Brost, the women appeared to be very excited to start this new challenge.
“I’m honored because a lot of women weren’t chosen,” said participant Melissa Ringer. “I owe it to them to do well and to succeed.”
A majority of the group wants to lose weight, feel better physically and emotionally, increase exercise and eat healthier.
“We’ve seen great results from our participants,” Riemenschneider said. “We had women who were able to stop taking diabetic medicine, quit smoking, lose weight and more.”
The 10-week program will end in March. The women will showcase their progress at the Northland Go Red for Women Luncheon on March 5 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. For tickets to the event, call Tom Skull at (218) 727-7297.