Tucson Goes Red for Women

Tucson Goes Red for Women

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - You might have seen a lot of people wearing red in support of Go Red for Women over the weekend.

The group held a luncheon Saturday focusing on women's heart health.

One local supporter has a personal connection to the cause.

Shaima Namazifard has been concerned about her heart health for literally her whole life.

Her cholesterol was so high when she was a baby, doctors had to take incredible steps to save her life.  The steps were so controversial she became a face of research.

"I was a different kid and there was something wrong that made me different," said Shaima.

When Shaima was a baby in Kuwait she became deathly ill.

"My cholesterol was in the 400-500's as a baby," she said.  "I mean yeah, that's life threatening."

She was having seizures and doctors overseas couldn't figure out what was wrong.  So, in the 1980's, her parents brought her to Tucson for groundbreaking medical treatment.

"They were like we need to take her abroad because our child's going to die."

In Tucson, for years it was test after test. Then doctors made a big recommendation. Her older sister remembers it well.

"Shaima was started at age five on statins and obviously it was a big deal for the drug company to be allowing this to happen," said Shaida Namazifard.

Shaima became the face of research for babies and children with high cholesterol.

"Because of that, there were publications, because of that there were TV segments, and newspaper stories on her case," said her sister Shaida.

Doctors discovered it was genetic and tested her family members as well.

Shaima says she feels lucky to be alive.

"I think that everything happens for a reason," she said.  "I think it was a blessing to come here and to be that test baby and be able to have my story change the lives of others."

Today, Shaima is doing well.  She focuses on healthy eating and exercise. She has also made it her mission to educate others on heart health.

"Know your numbers because as women, we put everyone first before ourselves: our families, our loved ones.  And, it's really important that we take time to take care of ourselves first and foremost because if we're not able to be standing, we can't take care of everyone else."

Shaima was at the Go Red for Women luncheon Saturday.  She says even if you couldn't make it there are other ways to give to
the cause.

For more information on the Go Red for Women Luncheon– Tucson visit their Facebook page.

For more information on heart health and how you can help the cause visit The American Heart Association's website.

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