YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – February is Heart Awareness month, and organizers in Youngstown are fighting strokes and heart disease by bringing more awareness to the issue.

Dressed in red to raise awareness, more than 20 women gathered in Youngstown for the Pink Goes Red event at the YWCA to learn more about stroke and heart disease.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, whose official colors are pink and green, hosted the event.

“Pink Goes Red is something we’ve done since I’ve been in the chapter, which is the last nine years. We recognize and honor American Heart Month,” said Deanna Brown, vice president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Youngstown.

Jackie Rogenski sat in the audience listening to ways she could live a healthier life. She was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, which increases the risk of stroke.

Doctors say stroke and heart disease are linked to family history, a fact Rogenski knows all too well. Her father died after having both. Now, she’s taking a more active role to save her own life.

“I try to go to as many informational meetings as I can. At my age, I should have been more active when I was younger, but it is never too late,” Rogenski said.

Rogenski has also been working with a bariatric surgeon to address her weight.

Dr. Tonia Farmer gave a presentation on obstructive sleep apnea. She says awareness can save lives.

“When you don’t know what is going on with your health that can be very dangerous. That can lead to unnecessary medical problems, so awareness is the same thing to me as prevention,” Farmer said.

Farmer sad it is important to be proactive and do everything possible to be healthier.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, killing about 600,000 people in the United States every year.