Participants named in Go Red for Women heart-health makeover


Twelve Mohawk Valley women are joining the American Heart Association for the Go Red for Women BetterU program, a heart-healthy makeover from the inside out to help women protect their hearts.

The 12-week program is designed to remind all women of the need to make healthy lifestyle choices. It is being sponsored by First Source Federal Credit Union.

Each participant will receive a gym membership at Accelerate Sports with personal training, a baseline medical evaluation from the Mohawk Valley Health System, wellness and nutrition coaching, and smoking cessation help if needed. Among activities are workouts and food shopping field trips.

The American Heart Association asks each participant to make changes in her own life, as well as inspiring friends and family to do the same.

Supporting sponsors of the BetterU program include Standing Insulating Co.; Accelerate Sports; Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy; MVHS; Townsquare Media and Lite 98.7; and Professional Media Services.

“We invite all local women to join the BetterU participants in making healthy lifestyle changes. Talk with your healthcare provider, get moving with exercise, take advantage of programs offered in the community, and visit for helpful tips and recipes,” said Jennifer Keida, 2020 Mohawk Valley Go Red for Women chairwoman. “Our goal is to make heart health a priority for local women.”

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S., taking the life of one in three women. That’s one woman every 80 seconds. Research shows, however, that 80 percent of cardiac events in women are preventable with simple lifestyle choices involving diet, exercise and smoking.

The BetterU program will conclude in May. The participants will be recognized and share their stories at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on May 6.

The Mohawk Valley BetterU participants are:

April Arch-Espigares, Westernville – April lost both of her parents to heart disease. She says she has spent the last two years mourning her mom and she doesn’t want that to happen to anyone she loves.

Sonia Martinez, Utica – Sonia applied for the program because she wants to help manage her diabetes and encourage her family to be healthier, as well. She also wants her son to see her as a hero.

Angy Medina, Utica – Angy says she wants to learn new ways to get her heart pumping. Her number one goal is to feel better about herself.

Lynne Orendorf, Mohawk – Lynne’s mom had a quadruple bypass and Lynne says she sees herself going in the same direction. She has been a caregiver for several family members and says it’s time to take care of herself.

Christine Pandolf, Utica – Christine’s number one goal is to lower her blood pressure. She says the time was right when a coworker encouraged her to apply. Christine says it’s time for her to focus on her own health.

Lina Perdomo, Utica – Lina has high blood pressure and diabetes. She says this is her time. She wants to learn how she can get off medication with a healthy lifestyle as much as possible.

Barbara Pollard, West Winfield – Barbara calls this opportunity a godsend. She says she has been taking care of everyone else and has suffered major losses in her life. Barbara says she applied to the BetterU program to mend her broken heart.

Kari Puleo, Utica – Heart disease runs in Kari’s family. She wants to get healthier and take steps in her efforts to complete the Ride for Missing Children.

Lisa Provost, Clinton – Lisa lost two family members to heart disease within a few months of each other. She wants to take care of herself and inspire others because she doesn’t want to leave heart disease to chance.

Kathy Riolo, Marcy – Kathy’s father is living with serious heart problems and Kathy knows she is at risk, too. She wants to be healthier no matter what that looks like and doesn’t want to equate health with just weight.

Sandy Scholl, Whitesboro – Sandy says as soon as she heard about the BetterU program, she knew it could change her life. Sandy’s number one goal is to break the cycle. She doesn’t want to be on the list of family members who died of heart disease.

Brianna Wichowsky, Utica – Brianna says she wants to be better for her son. She says she was an avid gym goer before her baby was born and wants to make the gym her “happy place” once again.


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