LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

A local health system is asking everyone to go red for women.

Dozens of men and women came together Friday at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse to raise awareness for heart disease.

It's the leading cause of death for women. Statistics show that for every three women who die, one will be from heart disease.

A nurse practitioner says staying healthy starts with knowing your body and the risk factors that come with heart disease. "If you're carrying extra weight, if you have high blood pressure, if you have high cholesterol, if you have diabetes, if you're not a very active person," said Emma Banwart.

A heart disease survivor shared her story at Friday's event.

Geraldine Schlueter of Rushford had a number of episodes were she felt extreme neck pain, and something like a brain freeze.

When she finally went to see her doctor, she was told she needed open heart surgery. "Go Red is an opportunity to let people know that women who have symptoms of whatever type, please get into the doctors, get checked out, be sure it's not your heart. I wish as a nurse I would have thought like that," said Schlueter.

Banwart recommends all women talk to their health care provider about heart disease.