Waterloo (KWWL)-Tomorrow is National Wear Red Day as part of the Go Red Campaign against heart disease. In Health Plus, the story of an eastern Iowa woman who wears red proudly because being treated for a heart condition saved her life.
When Betty Jones went to the doctor last spring, she thought it was bronchitis. Turns out it was heart disease. The Oelwein woman had two stents put in and, in the fall, a defibrillator.
Betty Jones/has heart disease "I'm so lucky that the good doctors are here now and that the technology with this type of defibrillator and stuff. Dr. Rose says it's the Lamborghini of defibrillators."
A longtime smoker, now in her late 50's, Betty had a mild heart attack 12 years ago.
Betty Jones/has heart disease "I think a lot of people do the same thing. You just ignore it, you know, and it's not gonna happen to me. That type of thing. And that's not true, it will."
Her cardiologist at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo says many patients should consider the heart above everything.
Dr. Richard Valente/Covenant cardiologist "Any patient, man or woman, who's short of breath, is a smoker, who's in the right age group, post-menopausal, especially in women the heart needs to be considered as probably the number one thing."
Betty has quit smoking and gone through cardiac rehab, two steps doctors say along with treatment will lengthen her life.
Dr. Richard Valente/Covenant cardiologist "I lost my brother-in-law at 52. First warning sign he died of a heart attack. And so the first warning sign is often a catastrophe. So if you're fortunate to get diagnosed and to get treatment, you got a second chance."
Her family is grateful Betty got some heart help.
Susan Bender/Mom has heart disease "The thought of not having my mom there for my children, for myself, that was stop ya in the tracks, oh my goodness!"
The silver lining in all this-it's brought Betty and her four daughters closer.
Tomorrow is the fifth annual Go Red for Women at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in downtown Waterloo.
It showcases a heart-healthy lifestyle for women -- from fitness, to food and even some pampering.
Tickets are 45-dollars.
The event starts at nine tomorrow morning and runs all day -- including a luncheon with a keynote speech from former UNI women's basketball coach Tony DiCecco.