Rosie O’Donnell Goes Red for Women 2014

Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O’Donnell

I am my own biggest critic.  There is no doubt.  I continue to muster up the courage to move past my own vulnerability and uncertainty to deal with life’s next challenge.  We all have a need for validation.  We all want to be seen.  We all want to be heard.  Everyone wants to be respected and appreciated.  Yet, as human beings, we all share a certain fear of criticism.  I certainly feel this when I attempt to write or when I move out of my comfort zone to speak, both of which I want to integrate into this next chapter of my life.

With that being stated, I would like to say that I admire the compassion and energy of people like Rosie O’Donnell.  She speaks easily, telling powerful stories with conviction and sincerity but mostly with an over-all caring allure.

Some presenters can take your mind to another place and on another level, making an impact that seems to stay with you.  They teach you important and meaningful information and you really listen and take their information to heart. They always have the right words and they never stumble when they speak.  They are not afraid of criticism.  They leave you thinking they are your best friend; that they care about you and they will always be a part of your life.

Rosie O’Donnell is one of those individuals.  She speaks so naturally.  She speaks about a topic that is dear to my heart… and her heart, as well.

Rosie O’Donnell has gained national attention since her heart attack in August of 2012.  Her story is similar to mind in her reluctant mindset to seek help when she was experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.  I can totally relate to her story.

What started as a normal day soon turned into one that would change her mission in life. You see, O’Donnell suffered a heart attack. But like so many women, she missed the signs.

Hours after helping a woman who was struggling to get out of her car, O’Donnell felt something strange happening to her. Her body ached and she felt bruised, but she dismissed it as over-exertion.

The pain, however, persisted. Her skin started feeling clammy, her temperature rose and she threw up. She even went online to look up heart attack symptoms in women. “I had many of them,” remembers O’Donnell. “But really? I thought: Naaaa. (So) I took some Bayer aspirin.”

O’Donnell waited until the following day to see her doctor, as her symptoms hadn’t gone away. That’s because while an aspirin can help with symptoms, it won’t stop a heart attack – which is precisely what O’Donnell was experiencing. An EKG revealed that she had 99 percent artery blockage, a situation called “the widow maker.” Today, she considers herself one of the lucky ones.”

Rosie is not afraid to speak her mind.  I marvel her frankness and straight to the point fortitude.  Having Rosie as the spokeswoman for Heart Week 2014 was remarkable, contributing a large quantity of concise and easy to remember heart knowledge.  She makes remarkable analogies and tells her story succinctly and vividly.

Go Red For Women is an impassioned and often emotional campaign designed to empower women to take command of their heart health. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading killer of women in the United States, stopping over 505,000 women’s hearts each year—that’s about one woman every minute.

Rosie has the power to uplift any weary attitude with her charismatic presentations.  I watched Rosie recently on both The View  and on the internet when she was in Detroit at the Go Red for Women luncheon, where she was keynote speaker.

The “take-away knowledge” on heart health is easy to remember.  She developed the acronym HEPPP for heart attack symptoms that require immediate attention:


Rosie further elaborated on her new healthier lifestyle which includes a reduction in red meat intake, carbohydrates and sugar.  She has added exercise to her daily routine. You can read Rosie’s Heart Story on her blog at

Rosie’s message as a one-woman crusade for women’s heart health is powerful and imperative.

“I did what many women do.  I did not take care of myself.  And that’s why I’m here, to try to get women to know you’re worth it; take care of yourself.   Know the symptoms.”

Women take heed.  According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined.  Heart disease remains the number one killer in women because we do not recognize and react on the symptoms.

An estimated eight million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease, yet only one in six women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. In fact, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.  Women are content on putting themselves last and taking care of the ones they love.  Women need to prioritize themselves.

Rosie’s story bears a remarkable resemblance to my story in the aspect of woman putting themselves last.  That is a tough concept to change.  Her words make an impact on me, and hopefully, if the time comes again, I will act more quickly.

Today, Rosie tells all of us that not calling 9-1-1 immediately was a mistake.  Obviously, we cannot call for every ache and pain, but if you are at risk for heart disease, have a family history or a sudden development of unusual symptoms, you need to get to the hospital quickly.

Please… Think of yourself.

Take care of your heart. 

Rosie O’Donnell in Detroit for Go Red Luncheon 2014

5 Comments on “Rosie O’Donnell Goes Red for Women 2014”

  1. Thank you for the reminders!!! I never knew that acronym!!! I appreciate your weekly information and inspiration!!!

  2. Another great blog. Thank you for keeping us aware of taking care of ourselves; we can’t help those we love if we are not in the best of health ourselves.

  3. Rosie’s HEPPP saved my life, thank you Rosie and I am sure I will be one of the few. Rosie your experience and willingness to share will save many.

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