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Yesterday, many wore red in an act of raising awareness about women's heart health. 

An event called Wear Red Canada brought attention to the most common cause of premature death for women: heart disease.

Dr. Olga Toleva, an interventional cardiologist at st. Boniface Hospital, was one of the organizers of the event, hosted as part of a national initiative by the Canadian Women's Health Heart Alliance.wear red canada audience A sea of red flooded St. Boniface for Wednesday's heart-centric talks and activities. (Vince Barletta/Twitter)

February 13 saw events all across Canada calling for awareness of the women's health issue. Toleva was of four Winnipeg members of the advocacy committee organized the event specifically for Manitoba, which featured a number of heart-focused events throughout the day.

A hospital information booth featuring patient resources and providing an opportunity to answer questions on women's heart health was made available, while a lecture took place to discuss the issues specific to women's hearts. Original paintings were featured in another area of the hospital by Melva Widdicombe.

A piano concert at the Winnipeg Art Gallery concluded the day's events.

All of the events were well attended, said Toleva. " There were a lot of patients who had been through a diagnosis of heart disease and it was really healing for them. A happy and just excellent experience for everyone."

Olga says a similar event is in the works for next year, and that they plan on turning the day celebrating women's heart health into an annual event. A smaller event could be in the works for the summer months as well.

"We could just keep building up the momentum," shared the cardiologist.

Toleva will also be featured in three upcoming talks at cardiac rehab centres, to educate on the importance of exercise both prior to and following a heart diagnosis.

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