To the friends of the 2 BigHearts Foundation,
It has been ten years since we lost Gigi and Sally: ten years of loss, remembrance and, still, disbelief.
In these ten years, there is also pride — pride in having known them and cherished them for all those wonderful years.
There is also profound pride in our response to this avoidable — completely avoidable — double-tragedy. This pride is manifested wholeheartedly in the establishment and good work of the 2 BigHearts Foundation which was established ten years ago this week.
The mission of the 2 BigHearts Foundation has always been and remains raising awareness among women that heart disease is their number-one health care risk. The 2 BigHearts Foundation is awareness. Sadly, awareness of the risks of undiagnosed heart disease is something Gigi or Sally did not possess. If they had known that heart disease is a woman's number-one health care risk Sally — especially Sally — would have made sure that she had her heart checked thoroughly. And she would have made sure that her beloved sister, Gigi, had done so as well.
There is also a great deal of pride in the 2 BigHearts Foundation model of significantly funding free screenings for women; real, comprehensive screenings designed so that if Gigi and Sally were to have participated they would have been flagged with an abnormal echocardiogram. To date, we have screened almost 2,000 women, free to every one of them.
The data we collect from these screenings are interesting and alarming at the same time. Along with finding that some 50% of those screened are overweight, 24% of those women had abnormal EKG and a remarkable 7% exhibited abnormal echocardiograms. We have found many women with previously undiagnosed issues, even women in the 20’s with very serious cardiac concerns. Alarmingly we have found that the likelihood of an event that took Gigi and Sally is so much more likely to occur than conventionally thought.
These women who participated in our free screenings now know much more about their risk of developing a serious heart ailment. And today they have a chance to act. Gigi and Sally had no chance. If they knew that heart disease was their number-one health care risk they, especially Sally, would have done something about it. These two big hearts were tremendous people, and they are missed.
So we are ten years on, and we remember. We remember how much they meant to us and how much we miss them. But we take enormous pride and resolve in the accomplishments we’ve made, and in the future potential of the 2 BigHearts Foundation.
Thank you for your continued support of the 2 BigHearts Foundation.