Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the US?
That means one out of every four women will die of a heart related incident. It's likely that heart disease has directly or indirectly affected your life. I know it's affected mine.
Many years ago, when the world was young and I was a very screwed-up kid, I found a friend whose life wasn't going much better than my own. The biggest difference between us was that at that point in her life she wasn't hell-bent on self-destruction. I don't know that I would be writing this today if she hadn't been around to pick up the pieces. It was a wonky kind of sisterly love fed by mutual support that was lacking for us everywhere else in our lives.
She moved away after high school in search of her own sense of family, which I understood even if I felt abandoned (adolescent emotions are so intense). Our connection began to waiver; things happened. I got my act together. We lost touch for about 30 years. When we reconnected through social media I discovered that she had many health problems, including an enlarged heart. Two years ago she had to have open heart surgery, and a heart transplant looms in her future.
I am by nature a "fixer". When I see a problem my first instinct is to try to solve it and it frustrates me to no end if I can't have some sort of positive impact on a bad situation. But, as it happens, I got a very unique opportunity to raise awareness about heart disease in a big way thanks to NFocus magazine. On a whim, I entered a contest to win two tickets to the Nashville Heart Gala Late Party at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The party was a smaller event held in conjunction with a silent auction, dinner, and dancing.
I was so honored to be able to enjoy the Late Party because that meant I could show you how much Nashville cares about raising money for the Greater Nashville Chapter of the American Heart Association. Of course, everybody was dressed to the nines.
I was surrounded by beautiful ladies, handsome men, delicious hors d'oeurves, and great wine. I met some really wonderful people and most of the ladies were only to happy to be photographed with me so I could give you a glimpse of true Nashville fashion.
I thought of my friend often throughout the evening. I don't want to lose her again, and my hope is that fundraising events like these can fund research and medical advancements that will keep her heart beating for a long, long time.