That’s what the Red Couch Tour, presented by the American Heart Association and Ellis Medicine, is – a potential lifesaver. The Red Couch Tour launched today, Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 1:30 p.m. in Robb Alley at the GE Theater in Proctors. The tour is an opportunity for women to unite to share their stories of living with heart disease and stroke, and learn how to prevent the No. 1 killer of women in America, heart disease. The Red Couch Tour also aims to change the statistic that only 17 % of women realize that heart disease is their No.1 health threat.

Every 80 seconds, a woman dies of heart disease,” said Dr. Andalib Nawab, of Cardiology Associates of Schenectady, and Medical Director of the Women & Heart Disease Program of Ellis Medicine. “The Red Couch Tour is an opportunity for women living with heart disease to share their stories so that others might recognize the signs and symptoms of heart disease, take preventive measures, and share the information further.”

Dr. Nawab shared information about heart disease and stroke in women. Five women affected by heart disease and stroke shared their stories: Leilah Constable; Paula Symanski; Dr. Joy Lucas; Theresa Petrone Butts; and Leah Slocum.

The Red Couch Tour will travel to three more locations before concluding at the Go Red for Women Luncheon in May, where a video compilation of The Red Couch Tour stops will be shown.

“Since the Go Red for Women movement was founded 12 years ago, 670,000 women’s lives have been saved,” said Kathy Lanni, chief community officer of SEFCU and chair of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association. “I have seen the power of women telling their mothers, sisters, daughters and friends about heart disease. Ellis Medicine is making a terrific opportunity available for us to continue to save women’s lives. I hope everyone in the Capital Region takes time to be part of the Red Couch Tour, sharing their story or learning more about heart disease and stroke.”

Huck Finn’s Warehouse has donated the couch to be used in The Red Couch Tour.