The Heart & Stroke Foundation is targeting future generations of Barbadians to achieve a victory in the battle against heart disease and stroke.
President Humphrey Metzgen said Saturday night that the organisation was determined to beat the illnesses that in most countries were claiming the lives of more women than all cancers.
Metzgen delivered his message to patrons attending the gala fundraising Red Dress Ball, after which he placed it in a special cardiovascular time capsule. He said the capsule was a gift from the Heart & Stroke Foundation in recognition of Barbados’ 50th anniversary of Independence and should be opened when the island reaches its 75th year of Independence.
“Our wish is to see a reduction in the numbers of those afflicted by heart disease and as such, we hope this memento is a reminder to the next generation to do all they can to uphold our mission as we place the future in their hands,” the president said, while symbolically handing over the capsule to Barbados’ first female consultant cardiologist, Dr Dawn Scantlebury, and two juvenile members of the foundation’s youth gym, who themselves are working at creating a healthy lifestyle.
The ball, titled Diamonds In The Sky and held as part of the global Go Red Campaign, was the first such event to be staged within the precincts of the Parliament Buildings.
Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and Lady Belgrave joined VIP patrons on the Senate Chamber’s balcony for a seven-course chef’s dinner prepared by award-winning Barbadian chef Michael Harrison, while downstairs, in the gaily decorated dining room, another accomplished local chef, John Hazzard, served a five-course menu to the other patrons supporting the event.
It was the fifth time the Heart & Stroke Foundation was participating in the global Go Red Campaign created by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of America to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke as the No. 1 killer of women.
Saturday night was all red, with women dressed in the colour that represents an alert signal for them to be aware of their risk for heart disease. Metzgen said the Go Red For Women movement worked to make sure they knew they were at risk so they could take action to protect their health.