Archives for February 2012

8.4 Million

Did you know that Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today?

8.4 million children are trapped in slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, prostitution, pornography, and other illicit activities. (2003 International Labor Organization Report report, Facts on Child Labor)

“The danger is, that we can look at the enormity of this issue and we can fall into this tragic rationale that says if you can’t do everything, you can’t do anything, and as Mark Labberton writes, we become paralyzed and inert.  The truth is, you can’t do everything, but you can do something. You can do something to make a difference. You can do something to take these children who’ve been enslaved and help them to become forever found.” –Pat McCalla, Co-Founder, StreetLight

We want to turn away, but we can’t because it’s not a story… it’s real.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Get Involved.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Love is…

Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.  Love never fails. –1 Cor. 13:4-8

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love… time is eternity.” -Henry Van Dyke

 Celebrate love wherever you are…

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GO RED FOR WOMEN Campaign Celebrates Women’s Heart Health

 

What does it mean when 500,000 women drop off the planet with similar life-ending issues, and no one stops to take notice of their linked cause and effect?  In large part, people weren’t paying attention. They weren’t connecting the dots. Why? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), as a whole, we didn’t view or relate to Cardiovascular disease as a women’s issue. We saw it as an “older man’s disease”. 

Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of Women in the United States -AHA

The AHA needed to find a way to get the attention of the public, especially the women who were at the greatest risk. But getting their attention was only a beginning. They needed to raise mass awareness about the cause and effect of our health lifestyles and the surrounding factors that contribute to our heart health.  Along with advocacy efforts, re-education was also critical because most women ignored warnings and symptoms not understanding that women were prime targets for heart disease.

Heart Disease Kills More Women than ALL Cancers Combined –AHA

The Red Dress

In 2003, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) teamed with the American Heart Association and others to raise awareness for women and heart disease.  The NHLBI introduced the Red Dress as a symbol that unified all of their efforts. AHA adopted the Red Dress symbol to create synergy among all the groups fighting for their collaborative cause.

The Go Red for Women® movement challenges women to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk.

Are You Ready to “Go Red” for Women?

Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  • Although the official “Go Red for Women®” Day was February 3, 2012, you can plan your own event ANY day of the year!  It’s an easy and fun way to raise awareness and engage your networks.  Think about your own networks: corporate sponsorship events, church groups, fitness groups, small business owners, neighborhood friends, family–wherever people connect with people!  Have fun with the red dress–women love to dress up and get creative using themes!
  • Join with other women to help raise awareness and funds for heart disease: Attend a Go Red for Women Luncheon in your area.
  • If you have the ability to make a significant financial contribution, consider joining arms with other committed and passionate women through the Circle of Red campaign.
  • As with all causes, the energy and creativity of grassroots efforts makes a profound difference. With the Red for Women Get-Together, you can do it your way!  Get free resources (PowerPoints, posters, flyers, guides, etc.), start your own fundraising page online, access real-life stories, swap heart-healthy recipes, and more.
  • Shop at ShopHeart.org for eye-catching Go Red items that support the cause.
  • Consider creating a memorial or tribute page in honor of a woman you love. What a personal and impacting way to showcase the threat and reality of heart disease in women.
  • Show your support for women’s heart health by shopping. It doesn’t get any easier than this! View the online list of corporate sponsors & supporters.

To Donate or Learn More about ways you can get involved, visit GoRedForWomen.org online!

Have YOU Gone Red Yet?

Related Article: Heart Health for the Love of Women

Women’s Information on: Signs of heart disease, risks, prevention, questions to ask your doctor, and more, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Go Red and Go Red for Women are trademarks of AHA. The Red Dress Design is a trademark of U.S. DHHS.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Heart Health for the Love of Women

 

Art, music and poetry often and beautifully portray and celebrate women with effusive hearts, unfettered passions, and a zest for life. Yet sadly, a fact about women and their hearts may come as a very unwelcome surprise.  

Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of Women in the United States. In 2004, the Amercian Heart Association reported that 500,000 women died because of heart disease and in 2008, (the most current data report) the National Institute of Health reported that 1 in 4 women died because of heart disease.

We’ve come a long way in raising the pink flag, so-to-speak, about the devastating truth and threat of breast cancer in women, and we will continue to raise awareness and fight for a cure.  We need to do the same for heart disease in women. Let’s get educated and raise the figurative red flag of advocacy for women’s heart health.  We can do both. We need to do both… for ourselves, our daughters, and their daughters. February is American Heart Month.

Who are the women in your life that you love? 

What Exactly is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood through the heart to meet the body’s need for blood and oxygen, disabling it’s ability to meet it’s workload. It is a serious condition that usually has no cure. Learn More. The good news is, we can play an active role in preventing heart disease and maintaining a healthy heart.

Too Much of a Good Thing

For years we’ve heard that smoking, lack of exercise and too many fried foods could contribute to life-altering heart diseases. But they aren’t the only the culprits. 

You probably wouldn’t guess that 9 out of 10 people consume way too much sodium. Why is this important?  Because excessive sodium consumption raises blood pressure. Why is that important? Because it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. And, that is important because heart disease and stroke are the nation’s first and fourth leading causes of death. Check out the new CDC report that identifies the top ten food categories that contribute most to sodium consumption. But excessive sodium isn’t the only problem. According to the article Protein and Heart Health, most people are also eating far too much protein. But wait, there’s more… Managing stress, sleep and alcohol are also important to maintaining a healthy heart!

A Healthy Perspective

Many of us women are “good-to-go” in certain areas of our lives and yet, greatly lacking in others. While some take great care to invest in our family and friends, manage our sleep and nurture our talents, for example, we neglect regular exercise and consume too many of the wrong foods. On the other hand, many of us fall into a pattern of thinking we are not under threat of heart disease because we maintain a healthy weight and exercise regimen, and yet, we are chronically sleep-challenged, rarely take time to breathe and nurture our own interests, and live with stress levels that are off the charts. 

The healthiest perspective is to balance the realities in our lives–both the external demands and the internal needs.

Finding the Right Balance: Awareness vs Action

Awareness is a glance in the right direction, but it isn’t enough. We need to take a step in that right direction. Begin with small adjustments and work into a healthier routine. Be honest. Get an accountability buddy if you need to. And, don’t beat yourself up–just get started. The results will be your reward.  Happy heart, happy you!

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

We live in a society where people are constantly bombarded with busy schedules, constant pressures and real or imagined expectations. We think we don’t have time to eat healthy or get regular exercise.  We think we’re too busy to plan ahead, but have you ever noticed that we “find” time to be available for everything else but that? In reality, who has ultimate control over our schedules?  Bingo. We do. 

Here are some friendly reminders of things you can start doing today. Notice these all begin with an action word. That means making a decision to partner with our own best interests to stay healthy:

  • Move more (use at least as many calories as you take in)
  • Evaluate & Manage your stress load
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink more water
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Start choosing more healthy over less healthy (whole grains, lean meats & low-fat dairy vs. fatty foods, fried foods & sugary snacks)

Next time you think you don’t have time for any of this getting more heart-smart stuff, ask yourself if you are ready to be slowed down and lose time, opportunities, relationships, (or your life) because you didn’t pay attention. You are worth it. Your family and friends are worth it.

Here’s to a Happy {Healthy} Heart!

The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency to help reduce disability and death from cardovascular diseases and stroke.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides global leadership for a research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Heart Association, NHLBI, Harvard Health Publications

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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A Book about Life & Love: Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer

Promise Me is a book written by Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Founder and CEO, Nancy G. Brinker, the strongest advocate for breast cancer in the world, and Susan’s sister. There’s a special bond between sisters that no other relationship can compare to on earth. Isadora James said, “A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”

“Almost every candid photograph I have of Suzy seems to have been snapped just as she’s bubbling up to giggle, that precise moment when you can see the laughter in her eyes and feel the active upturn of her mouth, but the not-quite sound of it is forever suspended in the air, teasing like the unplayed eighth note of a full octave. Even in the dream, I ache for the unfinished music of her life.” –Nancy G. Brinker

Suzy and Nancy Goodman were more than sisters. They were best friends, confidantes, and partners in the grand adventure of life. For three decades, nothing could separate them. Not college, not marriage, not miles. Then Suzy got sick. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977; three agonizing years later, at thirty-six, she died.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Goodman girls were raised in postwar Peoria, Illinois, by parents who believed that small acts of charity could change the world. Suzy was the big sister—the homecoming queen with an infectious enthusiasm and a generous heart. Nancy was the little sister—the tomboy with an outsized sense of justice who wanted to right all wrongs. The sisters shared makeup tips, dating secrets, plans for glamorous fantasy careers. They spent one memorable summer in Europe discovering a big world far from Peoria. They imagined a long life together—one in which they’d grow old together surrounded by children and grandchildren. Suzy’s diagnosis shattered that dream.

In 1977, breast cancer was still shrouded in stigma and shame. Nobody talked about early detection and mammograms. Nobody could even say the words “breast” and “cancer” together in polite company, let alone on television news broadcasts. With Nancy at her side, Suzy endured the many indignities of cancer treatment, from the grim, soul-killing waiting rooms to the mistakes of well-meaning but misinformed doctors. That’s when Suzy began to ask Nancy to promise. To promise to end the silence. To promise to raise money for scientific research. To promise to one day cure breast cancer for good. Big, shoot-for-the-moon promises that Nancy never dreamed she could fulfill. But she promised because this was her beloved sister.

“I promise, Suzy. . . .  Even if it takes the rest of my life.”

Suzy’s death—both shocking and senseless—created a deep pain in Nancy that never fully went away. But she soon found a useful outlet for her grief and outrage. Armed only with a shoebox filled with the names of potential donors, Nancy put her formidable fund-raising talents to work and quickly discovered a groundswell of grassroots support. She was aided in her mission by the loving tutelage of her husband, restaurant magnate Norman Brinker, whose dynamic approach to entrepreneurship became Nancy’s model for running her foundation. Her account of how she and Norman met, fell in love, and managed to achieve the elusive “true marriage of equals” is one of the great grown-up love stories among recent memoirs. 

“When Suzy died, my life’s work was born.  Her meaning became my mission”

Nancy’s mission to change the way the world talked about and treated breast cancer took on added urgency when she was herself diagnosed with the disease in 1984, a terrifying chapter in her life that she had long feared. Unlike her sister, Nancy survived and went on to make Susan G. Komen for the Cure into the most influential health charity in the country and arguably the world. A pioneering force in cause-related marketing, SGK turned the pink ribbon into a symbol of hope everywhere. Each year, millions of people worldwide take part in SGK Race for the Cure events. And thanks to the more than $1.5 billion spent by SGK for cutting-edge research and community programs, a breast cancer diagnosis today is no longer a death sentence. In fact, in the time since Suzy’s death, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer has risen from 74 percent to 98 percent.

Promise Me emotionally and elegantly chronicles how sisterly love changed the course of modern medicine by catalyzing women around the world to battle breast cancer.” —Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Promise Me is a deeply moving story of family and sisterhood, the dramatic “30,000-foot view” of the democratization of a disease, and a soaring affirmative to the question: Can one person truly make a difference?

View Video Now: “Straight Talk from the Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder & CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®”

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure Founder: Ambassador for Life

Nancy G. Brinker, Founder & CEO Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer and lost her life to it.  Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. Because of her love for her sister, her own tenacity, and a promise, she is fighting breast cancer and winning. That promise translated into the Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since inception in 1982.  Her legacy is a testament to Living on Purpose and promoting life.

It’s amazing how one decision can change the course of a person’s life (and legacy) forever. In 2008, Nancy G. Brinker was honored as one of the “100 Most Influential People” by TIME magazine. Among numerous other achievements, she has been awarded the Forbes Trailblazer Award, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century, Biography Magazine’s 25 Most Powerful Women in America, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control for the U.N.’s World Health Organization, and the list goes on.

Since it’s inception, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, has become the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all, and energize science to find cures. They are also the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

Nancy reflects:

“Suzy and I talked many times about the conditions of the waiting rooms and how people felt, the lack of research, the lack of knowledge and empowerment — everything that happened along the way.”

She remembers the conversations and feelings about the process and experience breast cancer patients were saddled with, from spending long hours in waiting rooms with uncomfortable chairs and empty walls–as if the swirls of sickness, exhaustion and fear weren’t already enough to bare, to a lack of information and programs with a personal touch for victims, survivors and their loved ones. She quotes Susan as saying: “As soon as I get better, let’s do something about this.  You can find a way to speed up the research. I know you can. And I want to fix up this waiting room and make it pretty for the women who have to be here.  This isn’t right.”

Sadly, her sister didn’t get better. After nine operations, three courses of chemo and radiation, she lost her 3-year battle with cancer. But Nancy Brinker never forgot. Before the luxury of internet and social networking, she stood determined, undaunted and full of vision.  Enter: A Dream.

“I had a dream in which I saw a lot of people — a lot of fierce, but attractive, healthy women running. They were running, and they were in pink. Pink was my sister’s favorite color. I said to myself, “What we have here is a race. This mission we are on is a race for the cure.” Now we are the largest grassroots breast cancer organization in the world.”

Against multiple odds and uncharted territory, she followed her dream, her destiny–and began living her life on purpose.  The outcome?  Her work, through creative advocacy and the promotion of life through legal and social networks, has saved and impacted millions of lives around the globe. Read Nancy’s powerful book, “Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer.”

There was a point when Nancy wresteld with how she could positively impact the lives and experiences of other women struggling with breast cancer, and those who surrounded them. She wanted her sister to know how special she was and that she’d always be in her heart. She posed the question to herself that so many of us do:

“Could one person really make a difference?”

She is quoted as saying that her father often said: “It’s not that people fail because they have bad ideas. It is that they quit.”  How grateful women and people are around the globe, that Nancy Brinker didn’t quit.  She proved beyond any shadow of  doubt that yes, one person really can make a difference!  How proud her sister, Susan G. Komen, would be of her, and to know her sister kept her promise.

Get Educated. It’s Free!  Get outreach materials, learn how to be a good support system for someone who has breat cancer, participate in a fundraising event, about breast self-awareness, and questions to ask your doctor, facts and information, and more

PinkPassion for Life™–“Raising Eyebrows & Making Memorable Impressions for Breast Cancer™” is a Collection of Advocacy Art by April McCallum designed as a creative way to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. Shop Online.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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