Wednesday, November 10, 2010
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Arrived in London, in many ways, the financial and cultural HEART BEAT of Europe, this morning, to watch and listen to my daughter, Emma sing this afternoon. The house that she shares with three other young female aspiring musicians is quietly still this morning. There are no lilting melodies bowed from violins and cello or vocal arpeggios today, just a gurgling dishwasher, expressing its own rhythmical opinion. Now and then, the sound of busy sirens, passing cars and planes overhead, join in unexpectedly with the diswasher's serenade, which continues to suck and guzzle, unfazed.
Standing on their verandah, in the glory of post frost sunshine, there are the worlds of back gardens to my left, right and straight ahead. I look at them as far as my eye will take me, but feel I shouldn't let my gaze rest there too long, for fear of intrusion. Canoes to my right; stones instead of grass to my left; passion fruit threading through a mulberry tree ahead. My head starts! How come there are passion fruit growing in this part of London? The passion flower in my garden, in rural Tipperary, has produced flowers, but never a single fruit. I need to check that out. Soil, wrong position, climate etc. etc. Get to the heart of the matter.
Every living thing, which includes the four female musicians who houseshare here in London and the passion flower back in Tipperary, deserve to be nurtured; to be given the best possible conditions in which to flourish. (I planted an olive tree in my garden some years ago, thereby bringing a piece of Greece into my Tipperary world. Sadly it was killed by the frost and my vanity, two winters ago).The heart of the olive tree belongs to the Mediterranean, Greece and further East. That is where they belong! I learnt my lesson. Speaking about hearts and centres brings me to my next point.
I was shocked to discover recently, that more women than men are now affected by heart disease, which is a bigger killer in women than all cancer deaths put together. I am a huge fan of the formidably iconic singer/actress/director/film producer/songwriter, Barbra Streisand, who has affiliated herself to many charitable and political causes over the years. I would like to share her words with those who might dip in and out of my blog.
As we go about our everyday lives, it’s easy to take for granted the strong, steady beating of our hearts. But, sadly, the odds are that many of us will someday face serious cardiac problems. The fact is heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
Women tend to worry more about breast cancer because it’s always in the news. But heart disease takes the lives of 500,000 mothers, daughters, sisters and friends every year—more than all cancers combined.
In fact, while the mortality rate for men with coronary artery disease has been declining for the past 30 years, the number of women who die from it is rising. This is due, in part, to the fact that diagnostic and treatment methods have been geared towards men.
Women have paid a huge price for the medical and scientific community not knowing about the important gender differences in heart disease. What gives me hope is knowing that the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Heart Center is here for us.
Through gender-specific heart research, the development of new diagnostic tools, breakthrough clinical trials using stem cells to enable the heart to heal itself, and specialized care for women, the Women’s Heart Center is improving the detection and treatment of women’s heart disease. When you consider that 40 percent of women don’t survive their first heart attack, you can see why I’m excited about this work!
I’m writing to you today because I deeply believe that women’s heart disease is an epidemic worthy of our philanthropic support. If you share this belief, I hope you will join me in supporting Cedars-Sinai Women’s Heart Center by sending a donation today. Even a small gift will help save women’s hearts and lives.
Thank you, in advance, for your kind generosity. Working together, we can make a real difference.
P.S. I have played many roles over the years, but one that makes me particularly proud is the role I play as a supporter of the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Heart Center. It is an honor to have the opportunity to ask for your support of this wonderful program.
I think its particularly worthy that celebrities think outside their world of plenty in an attempt to help others. Perhaps I shouldn't find that so surprising!
We must ALL do what we can to ensure that BOTH genders of ALL ages, races and economic circumstance receive the health care they deserve, as LIVING THINGS!
Now to an afternnoon of music. Nurturing myself with food for the soul .... the HEART !!!
Ciao for now!