Men. Grab your red striped trousers, a pair of red suspenders, a red jacket and a tie with some red hearts. This is a serious lunch with a serious mission. Oh, and bring some cash, lots of cash.
I was a bit overwhelmed arriving at the Go Red For Women Lunch at the Minneapolis Hyatt this past month. Well appointed women in red were directing traffic everywhere. I got in the fifth line at the second table. I was then gently shoved to another line, checked in with quick accuracy, and sent on my way.
I entered the Hyatt ballroom. It was a sea of red. Women in red. Red curtains of red. Bags of red. Red ribbons. And a big television studio set on the dais with lighting, cameras and a very impressive tech crew. This was serious business.
I stumbled my way to the "Men Go Red" table - mostly guys with a few female friends. One speaker's husband was at the table. They were all very supportive. Most wearing red ties. I was not. I will not be clueless next time.
The program included inspiring speeches and a round table discussion in the living room set with professionals, and survivors. They educated the room on symptoms, procedures, diseases, outcomes, and most of all...they raised money. Lots of money. Over $600,000 for education and research to increase survival from heart disease for women.
So why would a man support this? Because my mother died from misdiagnosed heart disease. I inherited it and I want to make sure that if either of my daughters inherit it, they are protected and have the best chance of survival. Men don't just Go Red For Women. We go over the mountains and through the woods for their women. Red clothing is not optional.
(Special thank you to Lisa Wipperman Heine who not only invited me to the lunch, but did a special tribute to my mother.)