My mother was a powerhouse of love and industry.
She raised 4 children and never sat still long. She was always cooking, canning, making, baking, sewing, crafting, gardening or planning. She was always doing for others, volunteering at her kids schools or for the many community clubs and organizations she belonged to. She rarely took time for herself, and I believe that contributed to her early death at age 57.
Cancer took my beloved mother, but previously she had suffered a serious heart attack that did lasting damage and prevented her from living her life to the fullest.
I wish my mother had known that heart disease is a woman’s greatest threat, and the warning signs of heart attack and stroke, so that she could have made lifestyle choices to control some risks, as well as getting the tests and treatments she needed.
I don’t know if my mother would be with us today if she had, but I know that her life while she was still here would have been better for it!
I think of my mom every day, but try to do something each Mother’s Day that would make her smile. I’ve found a great way this year - donating in her name to the American Heart Association. You can do this for your mom too!
They have wonderful supporters in Valerie and Lee Shapiro, who are matching all digital donations up to $500,000, so our contributions can go twice as far! When you donate, you get to choose an e-card to send to your mom, or a mother-figure in your life, letting her know of the special and meaningful way you are honoring her on Mother’s Day - and everyday - while helping so many in her name! Go here to make your donation:
One very special group of women this will help is expectant mothers. Did you know that cardiovascular disease is sadly the number 1 killer of new moms and accounts for 1/3 of maternal deaths? I was shocked to hear that statistic! It’s so critical for women to learn their risk factors and prioritize their own health before, during and after pregnancy. For themselves and their babies!!
I'm teaming up with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement to spread awareness about the connection between pregnancy and cardiovascular health. I know you and your mom will agree, losing even one mom is too many. We have to reclaim today for a better tomorrow and there’s another really powerful way we can do that this May.
We’re encouraging women to learn important health numbers that can help them determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI).
Knowing your numbers can allow you to take action early, address your personal risk factors, and lower your chance of developing heart disease later in life.
Are you taking care of yourself? Do you know the risk factors and steps you can take to minimize the chance that you will suffer a serious cardiac event or stroke? If you’ve never given it much thought before, please do so now!
If you are someone like my mom, who had a hard time thinking of herself because her life was one of selfless commitment, please think of all those who would be devastated if harm were to come to you. Do it for you, do it for them.
Take care of yourself and the heart that beats so strongly for the ones you love!