The state House of Representatives this week approved a resolution authored by state Rep. Margaret O’Brien to recognize February 2013 as American Heart Month in Michigan.
“Heart disease is a quiet danger for women,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Unlike men, heart disease symptoms are unique to each woman, and the symptoms are often common aches or pains we normally experience daily.”
Before bringing the resolution to the floor, O’Brien visited with Amy Swager of Climax, who went into cardiac arrest in 2008 and now has a pacemaker. She has since shared her story of survival with others as an advocate promoting awareness of the disease.
“I met with women from our community who shared their personal stories,” O’Brien said. “Many of these women who experience a heart attack have normal health indicators, are active and healthy and have no family history of heart disease.”
“We must continue to support research into heart disease for women. We need to support the women in our lives – our moms, wives, sisters and daughters – by raising awareness of the silent killer of heart disease.”
State Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton, D-Huntington Woods, authored a partner resolution declaring Feb. 1, 2013 as National Wear Red Day. The resolutions were a bicameral effort as well as bipartisan, as state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, moved them through the Senate with unanimous approval.
O’Brien says she looks forward to using her position as a female lawmaker to continue increasing awareness of the prevalence of heart disease, and will encourage her fellow lawmakers to all wear red on Feb. 1.