UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — The 17th annual Woman’s Day Magazine Red Dress Awards were held tonight at Columbus Circle.
Female empowerment walked the red carpet for a celebration of women and women who take charge of their hearth health, including Betsey Johnson, the whimsical designer had open heart surgery less than a year ago. She was suffering from seizures and on her third trip to urgent care – she got the news.
“(The third) time the doctor did not send me home,” said Johnson. “He said this ain’t working right and I had open heart surgery, he replaced valves and patched me up.”
Johnson, who is also a cancer survivor, said with cancer, she had symptoms. Having an unhealthy heart was more difficult to detect in her case.
The Red Dress event is a night of awards and performances, including a performance by legendary rock band the B-52s.
“We’re a party band so we’re going to be here to make people dance,” said Kate Pierson. Pierson also taking a more serious tone, discussing how heart disease runs in her family.
Also on hand were Pierson’s bandmates Fred Schneider and Cindy Wilson.Schneider got sentimental about his female bandmates. “I’m here to raise awareness and we’ve always been band equal,” said Schneider. “It’s important they’re (Wilson and Pierson) taken care of the best they can.”
Broadway star Sutton Foster also performed. She talked about why it was important for her to be a part of the event. “Heart disease runs in my family, I’ve lost both my grandfathers to congestive heart failure,” said Foster. “As I get older, it’s something I try to take care of on a daily basis.”
Now in its 17th year, the Red Dress Awards recognizes advocates and survivors of heart disease.”It’s been part of our mission for many many years and this event is the living embodiment of our dedication to this cause,” said Susan Spencer, Woman’s Day editor-in-chief.
“Hearth disease is still the number one killer in women in this country and around the world,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “We need every woman to know what they can do to live a healthy life and that’s why events like these are so critically important.”
Cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in American women.It claims 1 in 3 lives and takes more lives than all forms of cancer combined. 80 percent of cardiac arrests are preventable.The Red Dress Awards also celebrates those who have helped other women receive life-saving healthcare.
This Friday, February 7th is National Wear Red Day. Men and women are encouraged to wear red in solidarity to support and raise awareness about women’s heart health.