Heart disease survivor Sharen Sleater, has started a new support network for women cardiac patients here on the Central Peninsula. And to promote the group, she and Jeanette Rodgers organized the first Red Dress Fashion show which was held last week at Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH). "To say that our first annual Red Dress Fashion Show was a huge success is almost an understatement," Sleater reported. "The event, sponsored by WomenHeart, the national coalition for women with heart disease, was the first of its kind on the Kenai Peninsula to highlight National Heart Disease Month and the Go Red campaign originally started by the American Heart Association," explained Sleater. According to Sharen, the purpose of the new patient support group is to support and provide education regarding heart disease while offering victims the chance to be with others suffering from the wide range of conditions under the umbrella of "heart disease". By increasing awareness, Sleater intends to make it known that contrary to popular perception, heart disease is not primarily a man's disease, but is in fact the number one killer of women in the United States. "We think pink when it comes to breast cancer, so for women with heart disease it's Go Red and that's where we got our theme for our first annual Red Dress Fashion Show," said Sleater.
All of the women who organized or modeled for the show were heart disease survivors or family members of cardiac patients. "They each had a vested interest in spreading the word that heart disease is the #1 killer of women world-wide," added Sleater. "We were honored to have as our emcee, the popular Mayor of Soldotna Peter Micciche, who did a great job announcing our models as they came up the runway, as well as passing along information about women with heart disease. The audience truly enjoyed the antics of the models as they paraded their attire. A fun surprise was the appearance of 'Jasmine Rice' in his debut on the red carpet. Jasmine is also known as Mr. Jeremy Ley of CPH," she said. Escorts included Bob Malvin, Chuck Grimm and Jeffrey Moore, participating as models for the evening was Jeanette Rodgers, Eve Thompson, Kathy Figler, Jody Forcum, Denise Harro, Michelle McKay, Sue Stein, Patsy Hobeck, Greta Danielson, Erin Micciche and daughters, Madi, Sophie and Lucie, Betty Truesdell, Helen Rodgers, Clara and Josie Moore, Kat Grimm, Ruth Clare, Kari Noel and Jennifer Tabor. Our big finale on the red carpet was when Eve made her appearance in a Red Wedding Dress. Her accessories were then auctioned off in a bidding war that once again highlighted the generosity of our community, with proceeds going toward our new support group," said Sleater.
The first Support Group meeting is scheduled for March 1st. Anyone interested in attending the group meetings may call Mrs. Sharen Sleater, Support Network Coordinator for WomenHeart at 398-7763.
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