On screen, Barbra Streisand's newest role as therapist Rozalin Focker (seen in Little Fockers, which opened in late December 2010) alongside Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, and Dustin Hoffman, shows just how in tune the legendary performer is with matters of the heart.
But in real life, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor, director, and singer takes her commitment to a whole new level with her highly public role helping to raise funds for research at Cedars-Sinai's Women's Heart Center in Los Angeles. Recently, the eight-time Grammy Award winner wrote out these answers in response to WebMD's questions about why she's pulling out all the stops to transform women's cardiac health.
By Cynthia HansonIt's the four-letter word no woman likes to utter. How to ask for what you
It wasn’t until Kathleen Hornstein realized that she couldn’t move her legs
that she finally broke down and asked for help. A 34-year-old Pilates
instructor and mom of two, Hornstein was pregnant with twins, and despite being
overextended and overtired, she had barely slowed down and prided herself on
being able to handle anything that came her way. Then, during her second
trimester, as she sat...
Q: Of all the important health issues to champion, what inspired you to advocate for women's heart health?
A: I have always been an advocate of women's issues working with my foundation, and I have been outspoken on issues of gender inequality throughout my career. When I discovered that gender inequality still exists in the medical sciences when it comes to research and treatment of heart disease, I was stunned. Given that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in our country, more than all cancers combined, I knew I had to get involved to make a difference.
Q: How are you personally helping transform women's heart health?
A: I have committed to raise $10 million, and I will match up to $5 million of it. These funds will be dedicated for research, treatment, and education on women's
heart health. In addition to raising money, it's also imperative to raise awareness about this issue.
To really engage people around the country, we launched an Internet fundraising campaign with a company called Crowdrise, a new online fundraising community that unites people to raise money and volunteers for important causes. I have never done anything like this before, but we have asked people to donate whatever they can -- $10, $20, $50 -- to crowdrise.com/barbrastreisand. The outpouring of generosity has been wonderful and inspiring to see. We still have a lot of money left to raise, but the early response has been very positive.