Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. will have a heart attack. Among women, heart disease is the leading cause of death. Even more startling: two-thirds who succumb will have had no previous symptoms.
That's why it's significant to have days like National Wear Red Day—to spread awareness of heart disease. But one key component often gets left out of the spotlight in the press and on social media: Both the patients and their families need our help.
So we’re honored to support singer Demi Grace and her charity of choice, Harboring Hearts, all month long. The nonprofit's mission centers on easing the financial and emotional burdens placed on individuals, families, or caregivers during this challenging time. “I know how emotionally taxing it is for families to have to stay overnight at the hospital and witness their loved one go through so much pain,” says Grace, whose own mother battled cancer. “The support that Harboring Hearts offers is completely necessary for recipients and their families through recovery.”
Harboring Hearts is…
An organization that aids heart surgery recipients and their families in their time of operation and recovery.
And the importance of aiding both patients and their families…
Families are often put in the position of caregiver while the patient recovers—taking time off of work without pay, spending nights in the hospital, juggling life and care-giving full time, etc.
How did you become involved with the organization?
I met Michelle [Javian, the co-founder] on a flight from London to NYC. We sat next to each other and somehow started talking about health. She told me about the organization and the patients and families that it supports. It really hit home. My mom battled and won cancer three times and that conversation led to us working together to provide hope to heart patients.
Why is this cause especially important to you?
I remember my journey with my mom and the support she needed. I picked up my life and moved to Atlanta. Most of the surgeries required overnight stay; her chemo battle was really tough, causing her to even have a seizure during a session. I'm lucky I have two sisters so, among us, we were able to put in the time. I know how emotionally taxing it is for families to have to stay overnight at the hospital and witness their loved one go through so much pain, whether on the road to recovery or not. A meal, some entertainment—that means everything. So I really admire what Harboring Hearts does and knew I wanted to get involved.