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Go Red for Women has special meaning for Minnesota woman

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Friday is National Wear Red Day. It's to recognize that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the U.S. Unfortunately, you're never too young to have heart disease.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Friday is National Wear Red Day. It's to recognize that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the U.S. Unfortunately, you're never too young to have heart disease.

Elizabeth Smith, survivor of heart disease and Minnesota's Go Red For Women spokesperson and Damon Smith, Elizabeth’s husband and co-chair of Men Go Red For Women, joined KARE 11 News @ 4 on how the disease has affected their family.

At age 39 – Elizabeth Smith, a mother of three, started having shortness of breath and chest pain. For a year she was misdiagnosed with asthma and anxiety before the Mayo Clinic finally found she had microvascular disease – meaning the tiny vessels in her heart were filling with plaque and not working properly.

Doctors don’t know much about MVD. More women get it – about 90,000 a year.

There is no cure as the microvessels are the size of a strand of hair. Just medications.

However, Elizabeth was allergic to most of the medications so she has spent another three years so fatigued and ill she can no longer work her job as a choir director.

She became a spokeswoman for Go Red to get the word out about the illness and that you’re never too young to have heart disease.

Her husband, Damon, is also an active volunteer for Go Red. He believes men need to be a support system for the women in their lives.

Elizabeth will be featured in the Go Red Fashion Show at the Mall of America on Saturday, Feb. 13, where folks can also learn CPR, get a health screening, benefit Go Red through the Macy’s Go Red Sale and more.

For more information, head to Go Red.