“The Heart of Scotland appeal is a cause that is literally so close to my heart, anything that can raise awareness and potentially save lives is always worthwhile.
“Growing up in Scotland in a working class environment, heart disease was always prevalent. So many of my parents family and friends passed at an early age from “heart attacks” and no one blinked an eye- it was the norm- it was expected- it was never a surprise (heartbreaking but never a surprise).
“So it’s good to be part of (albeit in a small way) educating and reinforcing preventive measures, this saves so much heart ache, which I have experienced first-hand and reduces costs to the NHS.
“What inspired the designs for the T Shirts and badges? I use biology and science references a lot in my work, I really loved the idea of being quite factual with an illustration of a real heart. Neon colours always make me stop and pay attention.
“Obviously I wanted it to look fantastic so that people would want to buy it but most importantly I want it to send out a subliminal message. I want people to really think about themselves or family members who might be showing signs of heart disease.
“I love Scotland and being Scottish. It means everything to me. Our humour is the best the world.”
Siobhan Redmond CBE
“Like many Scots, I lost my dad as a result of heart disease. He died at 59, the age I am now, of a massive heart attack apparently out of the blue. He laughed at the very idea of checking in with medical professionals: there had been a great deal of illness in my immediate family and he’d had enough of spending time in surgeries.
“More than that, because he knew he lived dangerously, he didn’t want to have conversations about his choices. This is, of course, a person’s right: we are all entitled to live as we wish if we’re not hurting anyone else, but there were books he hadn’t yet read and stories to tell and jokes he’d have liked to make again and I hate to think that there might have been more fun to be had if he’d just got himself checked out.
“Recently I’ve had treatment for my irregular heartbeat: it had begun to be a nuisance and I am profoundly grateful to live in a time and place where it’s possible to have keyhole surgery on your heart as a day procedure. No more disco pulse for me and I really don’t miss the drama...
“The badge I’d choose, though I like them all, is Brave.
“Just pluck up the courage to have the conversation: if you’re worried about your heart, or about someone else’s, speak up. It won’t kill you but the alternative might. Nobody really likes being told they have to modify their excesses or to move more, but it’s worth it.
None of us can outwit nature- and I don’t necessarily want to live to be 110- but there are obvious things we can do to try to ensure our quality of life is as high as we can make it for as long as possible and I do all of those. I enjoy everything in moderation-except cigarettes which I gave up long ago using hypnotherapy and I’d recommend that to anyone who wants to stop smoking- I keep moving because I’ve found a kind of exercise that I actually like doing and I know that I mustn’t eat all the potatoes I could fit on my plate but I do eat some of them. With butter.
“My genetic inheritance means that I’m aware of the need to look after my heart and it’s a balancing act between gratification and good sense. I know it’s easy to say this and more difficult to do: there are times when you feel low and then it’s really hard to take care of yourself but there is support and a wealth of information available and I’d urge anyone to take advantage of all possible resources.
“Being Scottish means to me a sound, a sense of place, a predisposition to mordant wit, poetry, cheek and perseverance. I value what my early life in Scotland gave me then and I am still reaping the benefits of it today.”
“The heart is probably the most sung about part of the human body. Think of any classic song and there’ll always be a lyric about the heart but I really don’t think people think about their heart health as much as they should. In Scotland heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death.
Through research and education we can raise awareness and truly try to improve Scotland’s heart health. I am so happy to lend my voice to such an important campaign.”
“The Heart is the emotional epicentre of who we are, of what we are and how we operate. It allows us to live & breathe, to feel, to move, to engage, to emote. The Heart pulses our soul into each and every day, every minute we have, each moment we share.
“Without our heart we cannot exist, we cannot think and we cannot be. Look after it. Love it and allow it to Love you. Please support our Heart of Scotland appeal!”