A local heart disease survivor is spearheading a charity football event this Saturday where its participants wear formal dresses. The festivities kickoff at noon at the Lakota East soccer stadium on the campus of Hopewell Junior School at 8200 Cox Road in West Chester.
The event, which is called the Red Dress Powder Puff football game and is aimed to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women, will include two-tag touch football, music and food.
The cause is important to one of the event’s organizers, Michelle Shaw of West Chester, who knows firsthand that heart disease touches people of all ages.
“Because of my personal experience with heart disease, I have become passionate about the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement,” Shaw said. “Since the Go Red icon is the red dress, I thought a Powder Puff game where the women wear formals would be a great way to raise funds and awareness about the Go Red campaign.”
When Shaw was born she was diagnosed with a murmur. Over the next first few weeks of her life, her lips and fingernail beds turned blue and was then diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, pulmonary stenosis and an atrial septal defect (ASD).
Since the ASD did not close on its own, open heart surgery was required and Shaw underwent a surgical procedure at age one.
“Over the years, I have endured many medical procedures to ensure that my heart was functioning at full capacity,” Shaw said. “I have been told that I would never have children and that I would not live a long healthy life.
“I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a group of doctors and family members who hold me accountable and consistently push me to be the person I am today. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I have three beautiful children and I intend to be a heart disease survivor for many years to come.”
No experience is necessary to compete in the game or give to the cause. To participate in the game itself is $25. Proceeds from the event benefit the American Heart Association. Go Red For Women is locally sponsored by The Christ Hospital.
For more information about the event, contact Lori Fovel at 513-842-8871.