SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Thursday night the County Administration Building downtown was basked in a red glow to raise awareness about heart disease in women.
It's part of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.
At UC San Diego's Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, the AHA's Go Red campaign kicked off with 58-year-old Jorie Rankin.
"Thank goodness the room is filled with cardiologists, because my heart is truly pounding," said Rankin.
The Torrey Pines High School administrative assistant has endured a lifetime of health challenges.
"I now am living each day to the fullest and feel really good and plan to be here for many more years," Rankin said.
At age 16, the fitness guru was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and had radiation.
14 years later, she had thyroid cancer, breast cancer and then her doctor told Rankin she had severe aortic stenosis and replaced her heart valve.
"I often say to myself 'what color is your ribbon now?'" she said. "Tonight, it's red."
Rankin says she knew with all the radiation she knew the risk of heart disease, but says it was worth it.
"When your house is on fire you can't worry about the water damage," she said.
Rankin's cardiologist says heart disease and stroke is one the number killer among women in America -killing one every 80 seconds.
"Women often have very subtle symptoms, like shortness of breath," said UCSD Health Cardiologist Dr. Pam Taub.
Doctors and survivors, like Rankin, are inspiring a sea of red to highlight early detection.
News 8 is a proud partner of the American Heart Association for the Go Red for Women campaign.
We will be wearing our red Friday and when you do, you can give as well.
Click here for more information.
Lighting up #SanDiego for #GoRedForWomen @ @UCSDHealth. @News8 @ 10 in @thecwsandiego we speak to a multi-cancer & heart disease survivor. She inspired us to be aware and prevent this deadly disease among woman pic.twitter.com/dmojmQj2kr— Abbie Alford (@AbbieNews8) February 2, 2018
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