sioux falls, sd
A U.S. Senator's wife who has helped him campaign and win elections turned her focus to heart health on Thursday.
Kimberley Thune was the keynote speaker for Thursday's Go Red For Women Luncheon.
"I've often thought it was the men who had the heart attacks and died. Women are leading with those heart attacks, and a lot of times we don't have symptoms," Thune said.
Not only is heart disease the number one killer in America, but Thune's family also has a history with the disease.
Her dad suffers from several heart problems. Both of her grandfathers also dealt with heart disease, and she has a nephew who was born with congenital heart disease and has had four open heart surgeries.
"Number one--prevention. You be the role model. You get fit; pass that along to your family and friends, and that's by those annual checkups and physicals," Thune said.
Thune also encourages her family to exercise and eat healthy. Both of her daughters and her husband run on a regular basis, while she works out at the gym. She's also changed the family's eating habits over the last few years.
"I think it's easy to keep those same recipes that really are maybe not that healthy for you. So we got more into fruits and making some of those choices. Instead of white bread, eat whole wheat bread," Thune said.
And Thursday, Thune took that message from her family to hundreds of people to encourage others to also fight America's number one killer.
"I want to be aware of, 'What can I do for my family?'" Thune said.
Along with Thune, doctors also spoke at the luncheon about their goals and struggles in the fight against heart disease.
The event raises money for research and education to prevent heart disease and strokes in South Dakota. To hear some of Thune's speech click on the video player below.