Aiken Links go red for healthy hearts

March 26, 2017 GMT

What does it mean to go red?

According to Kadena Simpkins, a heart attack survivor, the first principal of going red is to “trust in God.”

Beverly Clyburn shared her personal go red experience with heart disease, after her son suffered from a heart attack.

Clyburn, Simpkins and others from the Aiken community shared their personal accounts of how heart health changed their lives at the Go Red for Women Luncheon. The luncheon was held in honor of Link Belvia B. Payne, former member of the Aiken (SC) Chapter of the Links, who died of a heart attack in 2015. To honor her memory and bring awareness to heart health, the Aiken Links partnered with the Aiken Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to sponsor this annual event at the Lloyd Kennedy Charter School in Aiken.

Wellness professional, Mona Flanigan and the Clyburn Center for Primary Care provided free health screenings. In addition, Funmilayo Harmon serenaded participants to the sound of “Summertime,” and Sheila Jones sang a solo. High-school student Charity Moore performed a dance.

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Those attending the luncheon also received valuable heart-health tips.

Justin Payne, son of Belvia Payne, spoke about how he was called to the school office where he learned of the heart attack that took his mother’s life. Payne said his first thought was to call his mother to find out what was really going on.

Now a sophomore at Morehouse College, Payne said he wouldn’t have been able to get through the loss of his mother without the support of his dad.

In a later panel discussion, Dr. Jewel Sparkle Pompey, a dentist, stressed the relationship between dental hygiene and heart health, while Minnie Chavous gave a lesson on proper nutrition.

Dorothy Brooks, president of the Aiken (SC) Chapter of The Links, gave the closing remarks and reminded attendees about the importance of fitness. This event was made possible by the support of the community, the Links, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and every willing participant.