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Nurses, Podcasters Team Up To Give Free Blood Pressure Screenings

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Heart attacks and strokes can strike at any age. Victims can be rich or poor, black or white. Legendary Hollywood filmmaker John Singleton's death at age 51 is the shocking proof.

"Something that seems so benign, that you should be able to control, shouldn't kill you," said podcast host, Lindy Vincent.

After a recent podcast on the subject of Singleton's passing, Two Haute Mamas hosts decided to take some action. They teamed up with the Twin Cities chapter of Black Nurses Rock to offer free blood pressure checks at Golden Thyme Café in St. Paul.

Paul Campbell was just 10 years old when he lost his father to a heart attack. His father was only 40 years old at the time. That's why on Father's Day weekend, Paul's gift to himself and his family was to check his blood pressure and watch his diet.

"Traditional foods which I like to eat, like I have to be more aware. I like fried foods, fried chicken," Campbell said.

It's well-known that men tend to avoid the doctor. That's a big reason hypertension is called the silent killer. You can't control what you don't know.

"African-American males have a 40-percent higher chance of hypertension, so our goal is to impact that," Black Nurses Rock chapter president Kelly Robinson said.

Another mission: to take away the excuses. Vincent Patterson hadn't has his blood pressure checked in years.

"The resources really aren't out there to have the blood pressure checked, and a lot of people don't think about it until it's too late," Patterson said.

It's a sad reality for something so easily prevented.

"If you check it you can change it," Robinson said.

And that just might be the best gift a father ever got.

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