The university chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. holds their first Helping Our Women week this week in raising awareness about heart-related issues.
“In our fraternity, a bunch of us have aunts, cousins and grandparents affected by heart-related issues,” Mark Filus, a senior supply chain management major, said. “On campus, women dominate the percentage, so we felt that we would have a greater audience if we had an event for the women.”
February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month, according to the Centers for Disease Control website.
The HOW week has included an array of activities such as a speech from cardiologist Dr. Carl Horton, a Zumba workout, yoga and a 5K run.
The 5K run will occur Saturday morning around the Greek trail with over 200 participants already registered, Filus said.
“We want to raise awareness but show fun in an alternative way of living in a prosperous way” Filus said.
Along with the activities, the fraternity will be passing out chocolates in front of the library with a motivational message. Also, one of the fraternity member's mother would be a motivational speaker at Friday's event.
“We always look at our events and see what is the most impactful ways to change someone life,” Filus said.
According to Horton, more women then men die annually of cardiovascular disease due to the increased population of women who live longer. Horton mentioned that nearly 500,000 women die each year of cardiovascular disease.
Fraternity member Gifton Milburn, who is diagnosed with a heart murmur, said he understands how powerful this condition is after watching his grandfather deal with a heart condition and having a pacemaker.
“Having a heart murmur really makes me realize that heart diseases and conditions can affect people's lives dramatically,” Milburn, a sophomore Spanish major, said.
“Due to my condition, I could not play sports in high school,” he said.
The fraternity’s goal is to take precautions by increasing physical activity and regular checkups to reduce the health risks, Milburn said.
“We want women to become advocates for their health,” he said.
The following is the schedule of events for the rest of the week:
Thurs., Feb. 14: Pass out chocolate with motivational message
Location: Outside the Library from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Fri., Feb., 15: Motivational Speaker: Jennifer Dean
Location: Palko 130 at 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 16: Morning 5K run
Location: Around the Greek trail at 9:11 a.m.