Why I care about women's hearts
The happiest I've ever seen my wife, Toshawa—competitive figure skater—is when she's on the ice. A few years ago, Toshawa started coming home from the rink short of breath. At Cedars-Sinai, we found out that my 32-year-old, physically fit athlete wife was having heart attacks. They were caused by microvascular coronary dysfunction.
The challenges we've faced: In the past three years, Toshawa has had about 10 heart attacks. Because she is not always home, she's ended up at unfamiliar hospitals. Nowhere have we experienced the level of care provided by Cedars-Sinai. Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, the nurses, the other doctors together provide wraparound care that affects every aspect of Toshawa's health.
What gives me hope: Toshawa's health has improved. She's even skating a little. Some days, she's like a firecracker on the ice.
What I'd say to someone considering a gift to the Center: Just listen to my story, and know that my wife can't be the only case like this. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. If modern medicine hasn't yet found a cure, we definitely need more people working on it. I can't think of a better place to advance that work than the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center.