When High Point University senior Alexandra Love was growing up, she almost lost both of her parents to heart disease – almost.
Instead of this story ending tragically, as many cases of heart disease do, both parents underwent surgeries, treatment and successful recovery processes. Her family, who hails from Charlotte, not only survived their battle, but they became Love’s inspiration as she grew into adulthood.
To honor them, she is launching Protect a Heart of Gold Project, a series of fundraisers throughout the month of February, known as the American Heart Association’s Heart Month. Two fundraisers on campus will lead up to the main event, a masked ball to be held at 7 p.m. on March 15 at Centennial Station in High Point. The event is open to students, faculty and staff. Proceeds from all events go to the AHA.
The fundraiser is also a result of a call to a call to action issued by one of Love’s professors, Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies at HPU. In her introductory class, Brandt assigns each student to create and complete a project focused on one outcome – creating change within the community. When Love researched ways she could make a difference, her personal story collided with the alarming statistics of heart disease. According to the AHA, more than 2,150 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, and it is the leading cause of death in both men and women nationwide.
“Heart disease is a terrifying affliction,” says Love. “It comes like a thief in the night, and many never see it coming until after it is too late. My goal for the Protect a Heart of Gold Project is to share how absolutely preventable this disease is. I want my fellow students to understand the significance of healthy eating habits, daily exercise and low stress levels. I hope to call attention to the warning signs so that they may one day save someone’s life, as my mother and father’s lives were saved. If my mother hadn’t known the symptoms and listened to her instincts, I wouldn’t have my beautifully inspiring miracle here with me today.”
For ways to contribute, as well as detailed information regarding The Protect a Heart of Gold Project, go to www.protectaheartofgoldproject.com.
The fundraising begins on campus Feb. 12-15 when students can purchase luminaries for $1 at the Slane philanthropy desks in honor of someone who has battled heart disease. The luminaries will be on display and lit during the masked ball event.
To purchase tickets to the masked ball, visit the Slane philanthropy desks Feb. 17-20. T-shirts will also be sold at this time to raise funds for AHA.
Want to go?
What: Masked Ball for Project A Heart of Gold
When: 7 p.m. on March 15
Where: Centennial Station in High Point
For more information: www.protectaheartofgoldproject.com