Sunday is “Packers Heart Cap Day” at Lambeau Field. As the Packers take on the St. Louis Rams in Green Bay, they'll also be generating money to fight heart disease. Along with American Family Insurance, the Packers are encouraging fans to wear their red Packers Heart Caps to the game. Eric Vallee, Director of Communications with the American Heart Association, says heart disease takes a lot of lives in our state. “Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the state of Wisconsin. In fact, approximately 11,000 people will lose their lives prematurely due to heart disease in Wisconsin this year, and of that approximately 5,900 will be women.”
Heart disease claim more lives each year than the next four leading causes of death combined, including cancer, respiratory diseases, diabetes and accidents. Vallee is thrilled for the attention the Packer Red Cap initiative brings to heart disease prevention and awareness. “The American Heart Association thinks this is a great way to develop awareness about the need for heart disease prevention, education and research. And we are excited that the Packers are supporting this initiative.”
Sales of the cap have surpassed 70,000, according to a release from the Packers. That translates to more than $350,000 to be distributed to statewide charities focusing on heart disease research, prevention and support.
Vallee says people could help avoid heart disease by eating right, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and being aware of your family history. He says you need to communicate with your doctor to know your risks and your numbers, including cholesterol, blood pressure and weight. One in three women, and one in four men, will get heart disease.
American Heart Association's Go Red For Women program is not connected to the Packer Red Cap program, but Vallee says it, too, has been very helpful in bringing awareness to heart disease.