Carmel woman spreads heart healthy message for Go Red

Carmel woman spreads heart healthy message for Go Red
Vicki Barbee
Published: .
Updated: .

Anne Marie Tiernon/Eyewitness News

Hamilton County - Vickie Barbee is determined to reverse a trend that's impacted her family for decades.

Even a snow storm does not stop Barbee's twice-daily routine. The 41-one-year old from Carmel takes her dog Molson for a walk.

"He's definitely my personal trainer and he doesn't accept no for an answer," said Barbee.

It's part of the routine Barbee established to stay Heart Fit after recognizing the deadly trend in her family. A grandfather, an uncle, an aunt and a cousin ages 31 to 54 had fatal heart attacks. Then came news her mother needed a multiple bypass.

Barbee was one of hundreds of women who told her story at Go Red casting calls at the Arts Garden and Macy's last year. Nine women were selected to be national spokeswomen for the campaign.

"This notified me that I was selected as one of the nine national spokeswomen for Go Red for Women," said Barbee, showing off her red boa.

The women will make appearances on The Today Show. Their personal stories are featured on the American Heart Association website. Barbee will write articles about how her petite outward appearance did not translate to a guarantee of a healthy heart.

"My highest cholesterol level in my mid twenties hit 280 so it was rather high. I knew I had to make some changes so I did," said Barbee.

Now Barbee reads the labels, eats fish over red meat, focuses on fiber and uses workout tapes to stay fit, vowing heart disease was a family tradition she would stop.

Go Red for Women