Guest Blogger: LaTonya "Toni" Richardson
In 2010, two weeks after attending a Go Red For Women event and learning about F.A.S.T., I experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA). As I recovered, I decided that I wanted, and needed, to do something in regards to educating my people, community and all women about heart disease, the #1 killer of all women, and stroke, the #1 killer of African-American women.
Since then I have been volunteering at my local AFHA speaking at churches telling my WHY, speaking at various Heart Month events, and participating every year since my TIA with the local Heart Walk, Heart Ball and Go Red For Women events.
I still feel that I can always do more and I try with each opportunity I get. I also felt that I did not see enough people who looked like me advocating for people of color. Again, strokes are what’s killing my people and I wanted to let my people know of the ways that we as a society could break that cycle. Of course, we could not change that we are black and women, but, we could pass along key information that could possibly save a life.
In a nutshell I do it for me, my daughter and all the women - especially women of color - to know that we have a voice. If my story or advocacy can help someone then my job as an advocate is done. I feel that I am already advocating on a small level and would love the opportunity to impact on a larger scale to potentially reach a larger range of people in my state.