March 9, 2012

The Heart Truth

My grandmother Maria died from a stroke at the age of 57.

My mother was just 25 years old and I was a newborn baby. As I near closer to my 25th birthday, the thought of losing my own mother to heart disease does not seem like a real possibility. When I think of heart problems, I conjure up images of stressed out men in suits clutching their chests like in a dramatic scene from a movie. I don't think about young mothers, warm grandmothers or women at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. Heart disease and stroke is actually the #1 killer of women in Canada.

As yesterday was International Women's Day, I had the opportunity to attend the Heart Truth Fashion show in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. The show was tons of fun and featured many inspirational Canadian women such as Divine Brown, Lisa Ray, Jessi Cruickshank and Shannon Tweed-Simmons (to name a few) who strutted down the runway in a complete "non-model" way. Translation: tons of smiling.

After the show, I had the chance to talk with singer and song writer Divine Brown. I asked her what advice she would give young women today. She said, "Take care of yourself. The healthy choices that you make today will always be on your side. Stay focused and don't be afraid to take chances with your dreams."

After the show, the first thing I did was call my mom. Today, I start thinking about the little changes that I could make to strengthen both my heart and my health.

Below are some snippets from the show. Enjoy