Heart to Heart

When was the last time you actually thought about the condition of your heart? No, I am not talking about the pitter-patter feeling that we associate with being in love, or the painful ache that comes when our heart is broken. I am talking about whether it is healthy and strong and able to keep up with all the demands that come with being a woman in this day and age.

A little over two years ago, the mom of one of my dear friends died suddenly from a heart attack. She was an amazing woman, vibrant and full of laughter, caring and compassionate. It was hard to see the pain my friend went through, as she learned to cope without the woman whom she had become accustom to being her steady source of love and support. I often thought of my own mother, and could not imagine what it would be like to have her taken from me.

Why is heart disease the number one killer of women in our country? Well let’s face it ladies, we began multi-tasking about the same time we learned how to walk. God has blessed us with the ability to simultaneously have careers, take care of our families, keep the house in order and maintain our social network. One of our biggest weaknesses and thus greatest challenge is taking care of ourselves!!

For national “Go Red for Women Day” on Feb 1st, I had the opportunity to attend event with Marie Osmond to create awareness as well as listen to some amazing women tell their stories. Marie’s passion for this cause stems from the experience of losing her mother to heart disease as well as her commitment to being around to watch her children grow up. What I learned was that heart disease is an equal opportunity assassin—it does not discriminate by age, race, build, occupation, or physical condition. Although each woman had a unique story to tell, there was a common thread among them: shock. The disbelief that it happened to them. These women lived what most would consider “normal” lives, yet somehow they still fell prey to this disease.

The WNBA is adding a partnership with “Go Red for Women” to the WNBA Cares umbrella. As a league, we stand for the empowerment and inspiration of women, as well as promote healthy decisions and lifestyles. Ladies, I implore you to use this as a call to action. Log onto their website (www.goredforwomen.org) for more information, make sure you are getting an annual physical, find out your family history, make sure that you have adopted healthy habits when it comes to diet and exercise, and lastly, encourage the women that you care about to do the same!! Although women have been my main focus in this blog, you are not off the hook gentleman!! Not only should you take the necessary health precautions as well, but you also need to encourage the women in your life to do the same!

It can be said that our heart is the center for your emotional and physical well-being. So from my heart to yours, I wish you health and happiness, and I beg you to please take care of your heart. You owe it to those who love you . . . you owe it to yourself!!

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