Thursday, February 17, 2005

Selling myself

The new public education campaign was officially launched by WomenHeart today. You can buy a set of three PSAs for your place of work, doctor's office, Or, if you really only want the one of me and my cute kid, I have some to mail out. Send me an email, and I'll mail one off to you. Even to Japan. Also, visit this science-based site to learn more about cardiac health and diagnostic testing for women: HeartHealthyWomen Have I mentioned it's heart month? Do you know your cholesterol count?


  • At 2/17/2005 03:49:00 PM, Blogger JohnFen said…

    Hooray! Do you know where these are running yet?

    By the way (like you didn't already know), you're not just remarkable, but gorgeous!

    And my cholestrol is wonderful, thanks. Tasty, too.

  • At 2/17/2005 06:12:00 PM, Blogger Miko said…

    Ditto the gorgeous and remarkable! I'll send you my mailing address. Thanks a bunch!

  • At 2/18/2005 03:33:00 AM, Anonymous chasmyn said…

    It's an excellent, excellent PSA. It brought me to tears. You are both very beautiful.

  • At 2/18/2005 09:34:00 AM, Blogger dawn said…

    You are all so kind. We don't know where the ads will run yet. A couple of billboards are up in the DC area. We need to raise some more money, which will likely happen this month. These PSAs will run all year. The new series is already in the works, I'm involved there, too. Seems it's tough to get women to admit heart disease so publicly...

  • At 2/18/2005 01:45:00 PM, Blogger JohnFen said…

    "Seems it's tough to get women to admit heart disease so publicly"

    How bizarre. Why do you think that is? It doesn't strike me as being a shameful, embarrassing, or publicly "unacceptable" disease.

    I was trying to think of something comparable that men would shy away from publicly confessing, and the only thing I could come up with is breast cancer, since that's usually considered a "woman's disease". Is heart disease like that? A "man's disease"?

  • At 2/18/2005 02:56:00 PM, Blogger dawn said…

    It's a tough question. In September I participated in a "Women's Expo" and distributed info from a booth all weekend. I wore a button that said "yes, I have heart disease". I wasn't able to convince any of the other women I know in the area to help. My heart-healthy friend did come and help, and the whole day I hear her say, "I don't have heart disease" with a certain tone that suggested that those of us who did were from another planet that she wouldn't visit.

    Why? Well, the idea that it is a classic "man's disease" is part of it. There are also many risk factors that can be controlled pertaining to nutrition and lifestyle. Maybe there is some shame in not treating ourselves better? One woman on the board of WH didn't want to travel by ambulance during her attack, she was afraid of what the neighbors would say. I've heard many women speak of returning home after a heart attack and/or surgery, only to jump right back into caring for their families. You can't see the disease, that makes it easier to ignore (for the whole family)

    Being a super-woman is all the rage now. Having heart disease doesn't play into that. Hard to admit that we can't do it all. These are ramblings that I've heard other women speak of, and had twinges of myself.

    I'm obviously out of the closet. Facing it gives me some sort of control over it. But my sister, who has congenital disease, won't speak of it to anyone. And I worry about how my daughter will fare growing up with the disease.

    Now isn't this a lot more info than you bargained for? If we could answer your question, I think we'd save many more women.

  • At 2/18/2005 03:28:00 PM, Blogger JohnFen said…

    More than I bargained for? No! More than I expected? Sure, but it only whetted my appetite. This sorta ties into a couple of areas that fascinate me: gender roles and our public vs private faces.

    Surely most people understand that poor diet and exercize are only one of a spectrum of factors? There's exposure to toxins, physical damage, and genetics to name a few. It's entirely possible to eat and live perfectly and still get the disease. (not to say diet and such should be disregarded, of course...)

    Has all that "heart-healthy" advertising caused an unforeseen consequence of making people think that if you get heart disease it's only your own fault? That would be a crying shame, but if so, is fixable.

    Or maybe the superwoman thing is the crux of the issue. I mean, aside from smoking in the old days and obesity now, one of the chief reasons that men lead the way in heart disease is because of stress. In fact, I remember when having a bypass was something of an emblem of success -- it implied that you were a high-powered businessman.

    I would expect that as more women load up on stress, we'd see a corresponding rise in heart disease for the same reason. So, trying to be a superwoman (or superman) is a double-edged sword? It increases the likelihood that you'll get a disease that will cause shame because it prevents you from being a superwoman?

    This is only a half-joke, but I wonder if an ad campaign that makes the point that if you're a woman with heart disease it means you're successful would increase social acceptance enough that women would become eager to discuss it?

    This is fascinating indeed.


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