When Malillany Marín lost her paternal grandfather to a heart attack, it was a painful and profound loss. When her maternal grandmother also died of a heart attack, it solidified family history and compelled the 32-year-old to take charge of her own health.
Today, the Cuban-born actress is taking to the dance floor as a contestant in Univision’s hit show, ¡Mira Quién Baila! Marín picked the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazón movement as her winning charity of choice. Now in its fourth season, ¡Mira Quién Baila! [Look Who’s Dancing!] is a star-studded reality dance competition similar to ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Ten celebrities compete for a grand prize of $185,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.
Marín supports Go Red Por Tu Corazón as her charity to bring awareness to the importance of healthy living in preventing heart disease. Go Red Por Tu Corazón is the sister cause of Go Red For Women, focused on raising awareness among Hispanic women of their No. 1 killer — heart disease. Marín, who has high blood pressure, has made several positive lifestyle changes, including eating more nutritious foods, doing yoga and managing her stress.
“Heart disease has closely affected my family. For that reason, the mission of the American Heart Association and its movement, Go Red Por Tu Corazón, connects with me on a personal level,” she said. “I want to be a positive role model and lead a good example in the Hispanic community — especially among Hispanic women — so they understand to take control of their health through healthy eating, physical activity and knowing their risk factors for heart disease. As Hispanic women, we are a high risk for heart disease. But, if we live a healthier life, we can work to prevent it.”
Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women, yet only 44 percent of Hispanic women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk. Additionally, the prevalence of inactivity is highest among Hispanic females (21.3 percent) followed by Hispanic males at (10.7 percent).
“There is an urgent need to educate our community about the risks associated with these cardiovascular diseases,” said Romualdo Segurola, M.D., President, South Florida Heart & Lung Institute, President of the South Florida American Heart Association Board of Directors and an American Heart Association national spokesperson. “The American Heart Association wants to thank Malillany for selecting Go Red Por Tu Corazón as her charity on ¡Mira Quién Baila! Her support and presence on the show will increase awareness about improving cardiovascular health and reducing death from heart disease within the Hispanic community.”
The show, which garners a whopping 6 million to 8 million viewers each night, follows celebrities and their professional dance partners over 11 weeks, with dance competitions before a panel of judges and a studio audience. The charity selected by each celebrity automatically receives $5,000 on behalf of Univision for its inclusion on the show. The charities also may receive additional funds on behalf of other show sponsors.
Marín won the second episode, garnering $5,000 for a total donation of $10,000 going into this week’s show.
Viewers can help fight heart disease and support Marín by calling the phone number provided for her at the end of each show. You can also vote for Marín by Tweeting #MQBMalillanyvota.
Tune in to the show each Sunday at 8 p.m., EDT to support Marín and Go Red Por Tu Corazón.