|Mother's memory honored with Go Red Heart Run
by Dawn Brazell
In hindsight, Stephanie Carter can see the signs that led to her
mother’s premature death at 47 from a heart attack.
So many things are clearer, in hindsight.
(right) with her mother, Robin Seay.
Carter hopes to change that story for other women who may be following
in her mother’s footsteps, which is why she has devoted hours to
organizing the first Go Red Heart 5K Run and Walk on Feb. 12 in Mount
Pleasant in honor of her mother, Robin Seay.
The medical technologist specializes in cytogenetics, figuring out the
chromosomal puzzles that lead to various diseases and conditions. After
her mother’s death in 2007, she turned her investigative skills to the
events that led up to her mother’s loss that left her reeling and
suffering from panic attacks.
What she found was a family history of females who died young of heart
disease on her mother’s side. That genetic history combined with some
of her mother’s lifestyle habits, such as lack of exercise and a poor
diet, contributed to her mother’s death.
Carter decided to break that chain. She stopped eating fast food and
began exercising and dealing with her life stresses in better ways. To
honor her mother, she began participating in the Lowcountry Heart Walk
each year, becoming the team captain of MUSC Laboratory Services last
year. Then she began running, but was disappointed to learn that there
was no local 5K race for the American Heart Association.
She decided to change that, and after many meetings and planning
sessions, is excited to be part of a team that is making the race an
“I didn’t want mom’s death to be in vain. It’s like a big present to my
mom indirectly, and it’ll help spread the word to more women.”
Carter said she had no idea how many women heart disease affects. More
than one in three adult females has cardiovascular disease, and many
don’t know it.
“In honor of my mom, I will not be silent about this silent killer. I
want others to know they have the power and ability to improve their
heart health. While we can’t choose our family history or our genes, we
can choose to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle by eating a heart healthy
diet, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco products, and getting
regular health screenings to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol and
triglyceride levels, and blood sugar levels.”
Her workouts and runs have given Carter a healthy outlet to process her
grief, she said. She uses the time to review favorite memories, such as
when her mother and father drove up into her yard with motorcycles and
proceeded to teach her and her husband how to ride. Her mother was a
caretaker to the detriment of her own health, a problem area for many
“Everyone else was ahead of herself. It was one quality I loved about
her. We were best friends—even when I was growing up. Life events got
in the way of her taking care of herself.”
Carter hopes to pass her hard-earned lessons on to other
mother-daughters, who want to have more time to enjoy together. In the
meantime, she’ll be tying up her running shoes and logging miles for
her mom. “I’m doing something to keep her memory alive. I feel as if
I’m channeling her loss into a positive outlet. It’s what she’d want me
For information on the5K run & Walk, visit
Friday, Jan. 14,