Every 80 seconds, cardiovascular disease or stroke, causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.
That’s why Crystal Barrow, a Shreveport native, says her mission is to make sure women know their heart numbers, listen to their bodies and make themselves a priority.
Barrow’s mother suffered a heart attack at work one day in 2009 and underwent open-heart bypass surgery for a major blockage in her main coronary arteries. Barrow’s mother had a history of high cholesterol, was hypertensive, and had a family history of heart disease; since then, Barrow has been educating other women on the disease to help them live healthier and longer.
She took part in the 2018 Northeast Louisiana Heart Walk. She also currently serves on the Executive Leadership Team of the 2018-2019 Northwest Louisiana Go Red for Women Movement.
In April, Barrow was crowned Mrs. Louisiana International 2018. Now, she is preparing for the Mrs. International title, which is scheduled for July 16 through July 21st at the Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia.
The pageant is somewhat different than other competitions. You won’t find talent or swimwear competition, but contestants will take the stage in fitness wear, and be escorted by their husbands during the evening gown competition. The pageant places an emphasis on the contestant platform themes. Barrows’ platform is “Open Books, Open Opportunities: Promoting Literacy,” an issue that Barrow has covered while working as an education reporter for several television stations for a decade.
Barrow also made an appearance Saturday, June 9th at the Books-A-Million store in Monroe, Louisiana for their Summer Bridge Activity featuring books by Dr. Seuss. The goal of the event is to help students keep up an appetite for reading all summer long.
“I want to give someone else a sense of hope,” she said. “That’s why I want to be Mrs. International. To reach more people on a global level. We all need encouragement to help us along the way and I feel that everything in my life has prepared me for this.”
The International Pageant system’s mission is to motivate married women and their families to make a difference by getting involved in their communities.