BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – February is American Heart Month and Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, marked National Wear Red Day.

Wearing red was a way to show support for The American Heart Associations “Go Red for Women” campaign.  

Local volunteers put their mark on this national campaign on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, at the Ohio Valley mall to raise awareness in hopes of preventing cardiovascular diseases with the 2023 Women of Impact campaign.  

Women from the Ohio Valley shared their inspiring stories of why heart health is more than just a cause to fight for.  

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death of women in the United States.  

The CDC calculates nearly 300,000 women died from some form of cardiovascular disease in 2020 – that’s nearly one in every five female deaths.  

Despite recent awareness, only half of all American women recognize the silent killer.  

Sherrie Dunlevy is one of the three Women of Impact nominees. Her team gathered at the Ohio Valley Mall to do a special ribbon cutting to kick start her campaign and explain what it is.  

“A campaign where 3 area women are having a friendly competition to raise awareness and money for the American Health Assocation.”  

Sherrie Dunlevy, 2023 Impact Nominee

The other two Ohio Valley impact nominees are Katie Everson and Rosemary Ketchum who are doing campaigns of their own.  

Women of Impact also highlights the lack of research for women’s heart health, which leads to missed heart attacks and delayed diagnoses.  

Local Ohio Valley Resident Cheryl Harshman is getting ready to go to Cleveland Clinic for her second open heart surgery for a valve replacement that failed during her first surgery.  

She says health issues from her younger years impacted her current heart condition.  

“I find out now that I had issues when I was 11 years old that contributed to my heart now. I had issues when I was pregnant with my daughter that has contributed to my issues now. And it all has to do with learning about women’s bodies and how they are different from men’s bodies.”

Cheryl Harshman, Preparing for Heart Surgery

Dunlevy, the organizer of the ribbon cutting, says more research on women’s heart health is needed and it’s one of the many reasons she is campaigning.   

She encourages women to start becoming aware of their heart health, and to get checked by their doctor if they feel something isn’t right with their health.  

2023 Ohio Valley Women of Impact Nominees Donation Links:

Sherrie Dunlevy

Katie Everson

Rosemary Ketchum