Cosmetology student encourages her #AIFamily to Go Red for Women and join in the fight against heart disease
February 2017, Margate, FL – When she was born, American Institute cosmetology student Yorelle Haroush wasn’t expected to survive. She was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), also known as “blue baby syndrome,” a congenital heart defect that limits blood supply the lungs. She survived her first open heart surgery at just 14 months. That’s when the doctors and her parents learned Yorelle was a fighter.
“Any time I am told ‘You can’t’ my instinct is to say ‘Watch me.’” Yorelle Haroush says. The doctors said she could never have children, but her son Liam is now 7 years old.
“I am teaching my son to never give up,” Yorelle says. “When it feels the world is against you, fight like a warrior.”
Now Yorelle is challenging her fellow students and staff at American Institute to “Go Red for Women” and join her in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America, claiming nearly 500,000 lives every year. Women often present with different symptoms than men, and don’t realize when they are experiencing a cardiovascular event. The American Heart Association launched the Go Red for Women campaign to raise awareness about this risk and to empower women to take charge of their heart health.
“Our student body is predominantly female, and we’ve had many people among our #AIFamily team who have had heart events. We’re passionate about supporting them and spreading awareness to everyone so they can manage or prevent their risk,” said Christopher Coutts, American Institute’s COO. “Go Red for Women is an opportunity to reach a wide audience and expand the education in our own classrooms and throughout our communities.”
American Institute promotes Go Red for Women by encouraging students and staff on every campus to wear red on February 3rd, “Go Red Day.” Flyers and information cards help raise awareness about the impact of cardiovascular disease in women and provide specific, positive actions that can help reduce risk.
For American Institute students in the allied health fields, the campaign has additional significance. The students who are training as medical and dental assistants will be helping take care of women at risk. As part of the Go Red for Women campaign, American Institute students are encouraged to do research projects and presentations about heart disease in women and how that applies to their specific field of study.
“Many of our students have someone they love who has experienced cardiovascular disease. Sometimes that is what motivated them to get into the healthcare field,” said Brooke Baran, VP Education. “I’m proud of AI for supporting the Go Red for Women movement and of our campus education team for their dedication in sharing the knowledge that could save lives in our circle of influence.”
Yorelle believes women have the strength to fight any threat, including heart disease. She likes to quote William Shakespeare who said, “‘Though she be but little, she is fierce.’”