SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Reverend Sandra Dority knows the dangers of heart disease, the top killer in San Diego County.
"My sister just passed from a heart attack in December, and my mom had congestive heart failure," she told 10News this week.
That's why the 74-year old makes sure to eat right, exercise and, above all, know her numbers.
"My blood pressure is 116 over 74, and that was after a five mile walk on Saturday," she says.
Dority tells everyone she can to know their numbers. It's a message she says is especially important in the black community, where the prevalence of heart attacks, stroke and high blood pressure are higher than normal.
"We have to change our lifestyle," she says. "There is a better way to live, because the numbers aren't changing unless we change."
Dority was one of the first people to join LiveWell San Diego in their Love Your Heart campaign, which offers free blood pressure screenings at hundreds of locations across the county. She brought information to her church, Mount Moriah Christian Church in Mira Mesa.
Now, she volunteers at blood pressure screening events, helps run educational sessions, and makes sure pastors talk about heart health from the pulpit every Sunday.
"God is love and he wants us to reach out and let others know there's a better way to live. Keep your heart going," she says. "Just love yourself. If you don't love yourself, you can't love your heart."