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Heart Assn.’s supporters seeing and sporting red

February 02, 2008

The Paul Mitchell School in Costa Mesa was awash in a sea of red Friday.

Red balloons, flowers, clothing and hair were symbolic of public support for the American Heart Assn.’s National Wear Red Day.

Clients dyeing and spraying their hair red, or sporting bright red polish on their fingernails, included heart attack and stroke survivors, and family members participating in memory of someone they had lost to heart disease.

St. Joseph’s Hospital representatives provided free health screenings and raised public awareness about the risk factors involved with heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in America.

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For Janet Payne, owner of the school, partnering with the Heart Assn. was a way to get a powerful message out to the community.

“We are educators by nature, and the response from the community has been tremendous,” Payne said.

Ben Picker, 17, who has a congenital heart disease, had his mohawk dyed a violet shade of red.

For Ben, getting his hair dyed took a back seat to being able to help other kids with heart problems, many much more serious than his.

— Sue Thoensen


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