REDFEB 2023 – Wearing Red for Heart Disease

February is heart month. Traditionally it is the month for celebrating Valentines Day, which makes it also strangely appropriate for Heart Research Australia’s major fundraising campaign called REDFEB. Both Valentines and REDFEB are concerned with the heart and with love. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia and annually takes over 18, 000 Australians away from their loved ones. REDFEB is an annual event that, since at least 2015, has been raising funds for heart research as well as awareness about heart disease itself. Originating as a one day event, REDFEB has grown into a month long event that invites Australians to wear red at any time during February on behalf of anyone they know who has been impacted by heart disease.

Most Australians have heard of the Heart Foundation. Heart Research Australia works in the same space, but is focused on providing funds for projects that are still in the first stage of research. Research projects at this stage do not attract Government funding. Heart Research Australia provides what they call “seed funding” – it’s for those ideas that are at the beginning of the research process. They might work. They might not. But we’ll never know until they are given a chance.

Did you know that heart disease…

  • affects 2 in every 3 Australians
  • kills 50 Australians every day
  • and causes one person every ten minutes to have a heart attack

Heart disease is also commonly thought of something that mostly affects men, but that’s not true. In fact heart disease kills more women than breast cancer. Unfortunately many cases go undiagnosed because women’s symptoms are different to men. For women their symptoms often include…

  • chest pressure
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • vomiting
  • pain in neck, jaw, throat, back

By now we all know the risk factors: smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol and inactivity. There are also some of us who may be genetically more predisposed to heart disease than others, however the simple fact is that a healthy lifestyle is the leading way to prevent heart disease. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Not everybody gets a second chance after a heart attack. Heart Research Australia simplifies it to the four Ms:

  • Moves – get active
  • Meals – eat healthy
  • Measurement – mind the scales and the waist
  • Mental – reduce stress

Unfortunately, there will always be cases that defy the risk factors. Hospitals and emergency departments are seeing an increasing number of patients presenting with heart attack symptoms who have none of the usual risk factors. My husband Rob was like that. He wasn’t a smoker. He wasn’t overweight. We had a reasonably healthy lifestyle. Even in the hospital, he didn’t look like someone about to have a fatal heart attack. He was in the right place at the right time – and even that wasn’t enough. That’s why research is so important. This is why REDFEB is important to us.

This year REDFEB has taken on even greater importance for us. At the end of January we marked the twentieth anniversary of Rob’s passing. Together we have decided to go all out for REDFEB. We are not just going to wear red ANY time during February. We are challenging ourselves to wear red EVERY day of February. The first days of February were a bit tricky because we were in Adelaide spending time with family, so we have had to be a bit creative. We have also had to think a bit outside the box because when we looked at our wardrobe we found a distinct lack of red. The stores haven’t been very helpful either, because this year, for some bizarre reason only know to fashion designers, RED is not in!

Still, we’ve painted our nails red and scrounged every red accessory possible. We’ve also decided to expand our challenge to not just wearing red, but also to eating red and living red. Over the coming weeks we hope to share our progress of wearing red and putting the heart research tips into practise.

Most of all, we want to raise awareness about heart disease and encourage everyone to look after their heart. Nearly everybody knows someone who has lost their life or been affected by heart disease – wear red for them. Heart Research Australia has resources to share on social media – you can find them here. Commit to making the changes necessary to protect your heart. Heart Research Australia says:

Honour those close to your heart. Raise money for life-saving research, raise awareness for heart disease and help keep families together for longer.”

We are not running a specific fund raising campaign, but if you would like to, you can donate to the REDFEB campaign here. Or if you prefer, you could also make a donation to the Heart Foundation. We don’t mind – every bit helps to…

Keeping Families Together


2 thoughts on “REDFEB 2023 – Wearing Red for Heart Disease

  1. There’s not been a lot of serious heart disease in my family, but I have a friend who lost her husband when he was 45, about 25 years ago. Their children were 9 and 11. Tough times. I have a favourite red pendant. Am wearing it now, and will wear it and my other red necklaces as much as possible this month. I do have a trans-seasonal red jacket that I wear a lot, and an likely to find cause to this month! I hadn’t heard of RedFeb before, so thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only came across RedFeb a few years ago on one of those national event calendars. Sometimes there are so many special days and weeks, all worthy causes, but some will always be more important to people than others. We’ve lost a few people to heart disease, but the loss at an earlier age with a young family, like your friend and our case, it is hard. We like to think we’re immune to death, but cancer, road accidents, violence, even war, affects probably way more families than we know. Time is precious. Thanks for wearing red. It means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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