With the popularity of The Rap Game on the Lifetime network, Queen Latifah has added another success to her impressive list of achievements. But the singer, actor and talk show host makes it clear that one role is more important to her than any other — loving daughter. No matter what the entertainment world demands of her, Latifah puts family first and stays close by her mother’s side.

“My mom has always been my rock,” Latifah said in a recent talk with the American Heart Association. Rita Owen;s story of how she recovered from heart failure, in part with Latifah’s support, is an inspiring and important example to the hundreds of thousands of black women who are battling heart disease. More than 46 percent of black women have some form of heart disease. Rita Owens shows us all that it is a fight we can win.

Once diagnosed with heart failure, she kept her spirits high, adopted a positive attitude and began working with her doctor to keep a close watch on her health.  Thanks to her can-do approach, Latifah is lucky enough to still have her mom by her side.

Of her mother’s struggle Latifah says, “You can’t change the past, but you can change the future.” She wants everyone to be encouraged by her mother, and to know that heart failure is something that people can “rise above” with education, support and by making small healthy changes in their life.

Read more about their story or just click on the video below.