By: Nagsheen Nassif
Who knew Rosie O’Donnell would be publicly announcing for the first time that she underwent weight loss surgery right in front of my eyes! This past Friday I got to hear this revelation as I enjoyed the day shadowing Sean Lee, Health Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950, at the 10th Annual American Heart Association Go Red for Women Luncheon at MGM Grand in Detroit.
What a remarkable day it was! The day began at about 9am when women were able to bid on auction items to help raise money for the American Heart Association. I took a look at everything that was offered but didn’t have time to bid because I busy helping Sean set up for her interviews. After helping set up, I had the opportunity to interview Sharyl Smith, the Go Red For Women Chair about what she was looking forward to at the event.
What are your thoughts before this event?
“I am most excited that we will have over 600 people, more men than in the past which is great for support. It’s great to have MEDSTAR Ambulance on board as well. I’m also excited to have Rosie O’Donnell be here with us today because she has a good message for the mission,” said Smith.
After I wrapped up my interview, Sean had to do an interview with Dr. Joan Crawford, a cardiologist at St. John Hospital. Dr Crawford explained to Sean that there is a simple app you can download that tells you everything you need to know about CPR right on your smart phone. During that interview I was timing to make sure Sean kept her interview to about a minute. After all the radio interviews were done, Rosie came for her interview for a television interview.
Behind the scenes at the Rosie O’Donnell interview
I was in the ballroom with about nine other people as I got to hear what Rosie had to say. She was hilarious as she sang this little song she had created about heart health. She called it “HEPPP” which stands for “Hot, Exhausted, Pain, Pale, Puke.” She began to sing it like she was doing a Broadway musical! It was awesome! After her interview I tried sneaking in a picture with Rosie, but she only had a few minutes left before bidding ended at 11am so I wasn’t able to get one. I thought to myself, raising money for the American Heart Association is definitely more important so I was totally OK with it!
After Rosie finished bidding on all the items it was about time to start the Luncheon at about 12pm. Rosie came to stage and began by of course making us all cry tears of laughter and then made us cry tears of sadness. It was an emotional roller coaster, but it was great! After hearing her heartfelt story about how she had a massive heart attack without knowing, it is truly a miracle that she is still alive. Rosie had a 100% blockage in her LAD and had a stent put in as a result. Rosie was told she had been the only one to ever survive such an attack. The story didn’t end there.
By the end of her speech Rosie publicly announced for the first time that she underwent weight loss surgery for herself and has so far lost 40 pounds. Rosie is definitely an inspiration and hopefully her story can save another life.
Nagsheen Nassif is a graduate senior at Wayne State University studying Media Arts and Studies. She is currently interning at CBS62/CW50 Detroit and is excited to see what the future holds! She has been very involved with Wayne State University’s communications department as she worked on various productions as well as hosted a full season of Metro Arts Detroit.