This is the season of gratitude, and I write to express deep gratitude to all of the WomenHeart Champions. I know I speak for all of the staff at WomenHeart, as well as the board of directors, Scientific Advisory Council, Corporate Advisory Council, and others in saying that we are drawn to and inspired by this work because of you, the WomenHeart Champions.
Thank you for your courage in living life to the fullest, even when you are afraid. Thank you for telling your stories. Thank you for being incredible role models for other women with heart disease who are fearful and uncertain. Thank you for stepping up to lead support networks and districts, advocate for the rights of women with heart disease, speak at conferences, hand out Red Bags of Courage at health fairs, knit scarves, visit women in the hospital, and innumerable other volunteer tasks, large and small. Thank you for your unified voice in wanting to do everything possible to prevent other women from going through what you went through when your voices were not heard.
In a pre-Thanksgiving yoga class, we were invited a number of times to think of something for which we were grateful in that very moment. I found myself being most grateful that I was breathing, able to move my body, and able to focus my mind. Some might say these are small points of gratitude when compared with how lucky we are to live in the United States, where food is plentiful, the water is clean, we have the freedom to speak our minds, we have a system of government with checks and balances on power, and more. Being grateful for every breath we take and the functioning of our bodies also can fall to the background when compared with how lucky we feel to have loved ones in our lives.
At the very core, though that yoga expression of gratitude for breath, body, and mind is what drives so many women with heart disease to support other women with heart disease, and to be active WomenHeart Champions. Your gratitude for life and dedication to the lives of others is a higher calling. Your higher calling is the essence of WomenHeart, and it is our inspiration to support, amplify, and expand your voices. Thank you, WomenHeart Champions!