‘We’re survivors’: Models hit the runway to raise awareness for heart disease

DENVER -- A sea of red filled Denver’s Wellshire Event Center Saturday afternoon as models hit the runway donning red shirts, dresses, pants and shoes.

But these weren’t professional models; instead, women with a close connection to heart disease.

That includes Saundra Beaird, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest while sitting at her office desk eight years ago.

“My arms went numb, I felt like I was going to pass out, I couldn’t breathe,” she says.

Beaird called 911 and was taken to the hospital where an EKG monitor recorded her heart pounding at 300 beats per minute.

Luckily, she survived the ordeal. Now, she’s sharing her story in hopes others will pay more attention to the health of their heart.

“I have friends that always told me you did everything you were supposed to do and you still almost died from a heart issue. But that’s what I tell them, is because I was doing everything I was supposed to, my heart was strong enough to keep me alive.”

The Drop Red Gorgeous event was free and drew a crowd of nearly 300 people. It was emceed by KDVR’s very own Deborah Takahara, who shared personal stories about each model’s connection with heart disease.

The goal is not to raise money, but to raise awareness for heart disease and stroke.

The Go Red for Women campaign coincides with American Heart Month.

“Red is the color of love,” says Beaird. “And that’s the best thing we can do with our hearts is love each other and love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves.”

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