In October 2008 I was honored to participate in a Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Show sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart and the Heart & Stroke Foundation at a pharmacist’s conference in Calgary, Alberta.
The objective: to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
When I was approached I thought, “that would be fun.” I had no idea how much fun it would be.
Participating in the fashion show were Susan - a nurse and a coronary artery dissection survivor, Janelle - a stroke victim at 19, now an interning neurologist working along side the very doctors who saved her life, Emma - a seven year old who would not be alive today without the lifesaving surgery to her heart when she was days old (along with her mom Lana), Natalie - who is not suffering from heart disease but who lost her father to a heart attack just a painfully short six months ago, and...me.
Here we are ready for the fashion show. From left to right: Sandra (me) Janelle, Emma's Mum and Emma, Natalie, and Susan.
We first met the night before to get acquainted, to select our red dresses, and to have a rehearsal.
It was wonderful getting to know each of these delightful people.
The day of the fashion show we were treated to professional make up and hair, along with champagne and orange juice! Then it was time for the show.
As our names were called we paraded across the stage, pausing at the predetermined spots and smiling at the audience of over 500 while the MC, Heather Hiscox from CBC Television, told each of our personal stories with heart disease.
The event was not only fun, but it illustrated in a heart-warming way that heart disease can affect anyone. Women, men, and children. No matter what your age! It knows no stereotypes.
Here we are on the stage for the grand finale of the Heart Truth Red Dress fashion show.