From My Heart to Yours

By: Chaunte McClure

Chaunte McClureI find it quite interesting that my first blog post would be related to heart disease. After all, during my husband’s rants about my lack of exercise, he often reminds me that heart disease is the number one killer of women. He nearly begs me to exercise. He’s a gym rat and he wants me to be one too. Well, not exactly, because he’s shown me a few exercise routines that I can do at home. He says he wants us to grow old together.  Awww… how sweet! Well, obviously not sweet enough because I still don’t exercise.

I want to change that. I need to change that. And if you don’t exercise, you need to make a change, too.

It was a decision my friend, Michelle, had to make in 2006 when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 36. She was living in Texas and had symptoms of a common cold that progressively got worse. Doctors diagnosed her with a sinus infection and prescribed her potassium pills and antibiotics. While experiencing these symptoms she returned to her hometown in Columbia, SC, as planned, and actually drove alone from Texas.

Michelle Weight Loss

She still was not feeling better after making it back to the Palmetto State. Walking eventually became a challenge because it was hard for her to breathe. She went to her primary care physician in Columbia and was immediately referred to a cardiologist, who performed a heart catheterization. The cardiologist told her she had a broken heart. (Really, he did.)

Michelle now has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and takes six prescribed medicines and an asprin daily. She’s a survivor! Thanks to some lifestyle changes, she’s doing well. Not only does she exercise, she eats healthier, too.

These are healthy habits we can all develop, whether we’re unwell or not. The American Heart Association offers tips on how you can prevent heart disease.  Your heart matters! Don’t skip a beat caring for it. We can do it!

Be A Heart Hero!

By:  Shannon Shull

The Amazing Mrs. Bouknight

My 8-year-old girl Mina recently participated in Jump Rope for Heart at her school, Batesburg-Leesville Primary.  Thanks to her amazing P.E. teacher, Mrs. Phyllis Bouknight, who is also the coordinator for this fabulous event every year, my Mina truly felt like she helped make a difference. Because of Mrs. Bouknight’s passion for the program, Mina set out with great zeal to raise money for and, as she says, “save lives from heart diseases.”

I was very proud of my girl’s dedication and enthusiasm.  I was most pleased with the fact that she really seemed to understand why she was jumping rope, that she was raising money for a great cause and also keeping her own heart healthy.  That philanthropic spirit is a precious thing.  And the health awareness that goes with it is truly priceless.

My little Mina is a Heart Hero indeed and as her mother, I plan to be a Heart Hero for her too by doing my best to always be a positive, heart healthy example in her life.

What is Jump Rope For Heart?

  • It’s an American Heart Association event.
  • Kids with special hearts are helped by the money raised.
  •  Kids have fun jumping rope and learning about their heart and how to keep it healthy.

Below is some very valuable information from the American Heart Association that I feel is very much worth reading –

Mina - Ready to Jump!

Did you know that childhood obesity is the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking? Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. If current trends continue, today’s kids could be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. Parents and caregivers are essential decision makers when it comes to the nutrition, physical activity and health needs of their children.  As a parent, you want the best for your child.  Every parent does.  And The American Heart Association can help.

Help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. As you gain practical tips on helping your kids eat nutritious meals and enjoy a physically active lifestyle, be sure to apply these same behaviors to your own life. The best way to lead your child to a healthy lifestyle is to set a positive example yourself!

I personally feel that the best way to lead anyone to a healthy lifestyle is to be a positive example yourself! What do you do in your daily life to be heart healthy?

Here’s to being a Heart Hero!

Mina with her friends Amy & Harley - ready to start jumping!

Mark Your Calendars: Columbia Style Week Coming in June

By: Staci Rutherford

For the first time ever, Columbia, South Carolina will have an official fashion week!

Mayor Steve Benjamin and the Columbia City Council issued an Official Proclamation declaring June 5th-9th, 2012 Columbia Style Week.  This is a major event for the Capital City that will include five days and five nights of fashion, arts and entertainment.  As a style-obsessed blogger, I am beyond excited that we will have an outlet to showcase talented fashion designers, models and local retailers.  I will feature a calendar of runway shows for Columbia Style Week so we can help make it a huge success.

The “Follow Your Heart” Charity Fashion Gala and Auction is the official kick off event for Columbia Style Week’s “Road to Runway Tour.”  It will be held at Tapp’s Center for the Arts (located downtown at 1644 Main Street) on Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm.  Partnering with the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, the gala will be hosted by Arielle Riposta-McConchie and Alicia Zeigler of Wink Magazine.  Dr. Norma Khoury, of the South Carolina Heart Center, is the keynote speaker on heart disease and its impact on women.  The event will also include a silent auction, refreshments and wine, live entertainment and DJ, a Red Dress fashion showcase and more!

A portion of all ticket sales and 100% of silent auction proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.  Click here to purchase a ticket.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Columbia Style Week, they are looking for volunteers!  Visit the for more details.