A few months ago I was asked by Sanofi US to help them make the public more aware of the dangers of a serious heart disease called atrial fibrillation, or AFib. AFib is a type of irregular heartbeat that causes your heart to race and beat out of rhythm. I was happy to do this since I’ve had this disease for the past 15 years.
When I get an episode of atrial fibrillation, it feels like my heart is skipping a beat and if I don’t treat it, it gets nuts! My heart starts to beat real fast. Man, I feel like I’ve got a flounder in my chest! Crazy!
Very scary. And very dangerous if you don’t work with your doctor to manage it.
Many people ignore the symptoms, but being out of rhythm with AFib can cause really serious problems like permanent heart damage.
I’m really honored to have been asked to make the more public aware of this serious heart disease.
You’ll be hearing about my involvement in this real soon, but I wanted you all to know that I am in great shape and for all of you not to worry about me. I work with my doctor to take care of my AFib and I lead an active life.
I want to make others more aware of AFib and the importance of getting back in rhythm.
Check out www.GetBackInRhythm.com to learn more about the campaign!
Love from my heart,
I'm giving this one an online Standing-O.
Sanofi - Aventis is a phramaceutical firm that I had the priviledge of working with "back in the day" when I was drawing a regular salary. They have invented a number of drugs, both OTC and prescription including anti-allergy, treatment of auto-immune disorders, long-acting insulins for both types of diabetes, chemotherapy, and, as Barry's note indicates, heart conditions including atrial fibrillation.
I see a lot of people in entertainment try to get involved in advocacy for a health cause because they experienced it themselves. One of the earliest posts on this blog 3 (!!!) years ago was about my first "Hollywood Party" held in Beverly Hills - a fundraiser for an advocacy group. There are two kinds of these groups: the completely grass-roots type by well-meaning individuals who have had their lives changed but don't have a whole lot of knowledge on their subject and tend to go off the rails once in a while; and the individuals who want to organize, but at the same time know what they don't know and surround themselves with advisors who are true experts. Barry seems to be leaning toward the latter: Sanofi is a legitimate expert on the subject of AF and the information they produce is going to be solid enough to stake your life on.
Way to go, Barry! Good choices and commitments all around on this one!