Thursday, June 30, 2022

Queen Latifah Taking ‘Red Steps’ to Raise Awareness About Heart Disease

Queen Latifah attends the arrivals for "Bessie" New York Sreening at The Museum of Modern Art on April 29, 2015 in New York City
Queen Latifah attends the arrivals for “Bessie” New York Sreening at The Museum of Modern Art on April 29, 2015 in New York City

*Emmy and Grammy winner Queen Latifah has joined forces with the American Heart Association for its “Red Steps Challenge.” The Queen told ABC News the effort is personal, as her mother, Rita Owens, suffers from heart failure and a condition called scleroderma, an incurable autoimmune disease that has caused scar tissue build up in her lungs. She revealed that her mother’s approval of the campaign was imperative to her getting involved.

“It’s just a way for us to show support for all of those people who are dealing with the condition and those who care for them,” Latifah said. Her 66-year-old mother also has pulmonary hypertension, which impacts her ability to breathe.

READ RELATED STORY: Queen Latifah Is Ready to Be a Mom (Watch)

The campaign encourages people to help raise awareness about the risks and symptoms of heart failure by posting photos of themselves taking steps while wearing red socks. The goal? Six million “red steps,” in recognition of the nearly six million Americans living with heart failure

“This is something that I should’ve been involved in regardless of my mother, but because it’s something that affects my mom, I really wanted her to be involved and I wanted her permission,” Latifah confided. “She’s just so eloquent and positive in the way she puts things, it’s something that we as a family like to share with other people because realize that by her talking about some of her medical issues, a lot of people are reaching out and saying ‘Me too.’”

Latifah also notes how this campaign has helped her personally too.

“I am not perfect when it comes to just staying fit constantly all the time,” she shared, adding that the campaign reminds her to be diligent and that she doesn’t have to do it alone. Most of all, it’s about helping others,” she said. “Sometimes I can rally that support and I can do right in my own group of family and friends.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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