Seeing red

HOSA organization encourages everyone to wear red for National Wear Red Day, Feb. 4


Mary Kay Gagnepain

The American Heart Association fundraiser t-shirts, Feb. 4.

Coronary heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. One in four women die from heart disease.  

“There’s a lot of heart disease, so raising money is good and it will help everyone,” Christina Auzat, HOSA member, said. “Anything we can do to help.”

National Wear Red Day is Feb. 5. The purpose is to inform the public on heart disease, especially among women.

HOSA, a club dedicated to learning about health and medicine, has been raising funds and awareness for National Wear Red Day.

Mayo Clinic research shows that heart disease can be caused by a number of things including family history, high blood pressure, a lack of exercise, and especially heavy smoking.

Around a quarter of all high schoolers and seven percent of all middle schoolers have used at least one smoking product, according to a study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

This means that for these students, the effects of heart disease could kick in early in life.

“It’s never too late to quit if you’ve started,” Mr. Keith Baremore, HOSA sponsor, said. “Your lungs will actually start healing and they can actually recover, especially if you haven’t smoked for that long.

One of the most important things that HOSA has accomplished, however, is their service to others. One instance of this is the recent donation table they held at lunch for heart disease awareness Jan. 11-15.

At the donation table, students could buy red T-Shirts for $10 and red wristbands for $5 to commemorate National Wear Red Day. All proceeds went to the St. Louis branch of the American Heart Association.

“It’s really important to me because I want to do medical stuff in my future,” Kaitlyn Duchild, HOSA member, said. “I’m really interested in fundraisers for this cause, so it’s means a lot for people to be educated and know about what it’s for and be able to support it, too.”

These students aren’t just taking part in this fundraiser for fun. They genuinely care about making a difference.

“I love being in HOSA,” Maria Satterthwaite, HOSA member, said. “It’s fun and if you’re going into the medical field it’s fun to be able to actually do things and learn before you’re even in medical school.”

HOSA members, like Satterthwaite, have been hard at work learning about many different aspects of the medical field.

“There’s been a lot of guest speakers that are doctors and stuff,” Kaitlyn Duchild, HOSA member, said. “We had a chiropractor come and he explained what he did, like his everyday job.”

Learning about the medical field has been beneficial for students to really confirm that something in the medical field is something they want to do.

“I’ve gotten to learn about different medical fields and the different jobs they do that I don’t think I would have learned.” Kelsey Abbott, HOSA member, said.

In addition to learning from those who have experience as medical professionals, they have been taught medical procedures themselves.

“We learn all types of things,” Mitchell Stout, HOSA member, said. “Recently we just learned how to take blood pressure and we learn basic first aid things, and career opportunities in medicine.”

In order to master what they learned, the students’ knowledge is often put to the test.

“We do competitions, so you can sign up for a competition and go compete against other people,” Auzat said. “You can do CPR, or nursing, or how to wrap someone’s broken arm.”

The real test may be how many discussions about health issues these students can start as they spread the word about heart disease.

“You are still at risk even though you are a teenager. You’re not invincible against everything,” Auzat said. “You may not think about the consequences but it’s going to affect you later on in life, so you should avoid it.”

Everyone can support the cause by wearing red, Feb. 5.