The American Heart Association relies on our amazing advocates to help us in building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. This month, we would like to introduce you to one of those phenomenal You're the Cure Advocate, Donna McDannold.
I am a retired neuroscience RN. I have 25 years of neuroscience/ Neuro ICU experience. I was a certified stroke specialist. I am the CEO of 7 Wings Stroke Advocacy. It is an acute stroke service. Information and support is provided to the patient and family regarding what is happening and how to make sense of the confusing hospital atmosphere they now find themselves in. What to expect in the rehab process and emotional support throughout their journey is also given. Stroke isn’t the end. That’s very important to teach.
Hometown: Tulsa Oklahoma
Hobbies: Travel, reading, drawing, golf, gardening, hiking, dogs,
Pets: “The Great Gatsby” the 7 1/2-year-old golden doodle
Kids: 3 daughters. Misti 34, Micah 31 and Samantha 26
Role Model: My Great Uncle Dale
Greatest Achievement: surviving 7 strokes and getting myself and my life back to 96%
Historical figures: Eleanor Roosevelt; she cared so deeply about society and took action to help those who were suffering. She worked tirelessly and even earned the respect of her husband’s cabinet and the respect of world dignitaries.
The Dahli Llama; he is the essence of joy! I love his sense of humor. He simply wants to spread peace and love around the world, even when times are difficult. I giggle every time I see that cheerful face!
Favorite AHA event: The Go Red event in Washington DC is my favorite. Delegating for an excellent cause that helps every life in America no matter the socioeconomic situation, race, religion or age is an honor.
It’s very important to bring awareness of the needs of the AHA/ASA to our politicians. They are the people who have the vote that leads to positive change.
Advocating is very personal and very important to me. Much research in this area is necessary and widespread education is the way to make an impact at the grassroots level of society.
We, the survivors, are an important tool. We have experienced the effects of stroke and/or heart disease. We are valuable in our survival and our knowledge. I want to be an active loud voice for prevention and for recovery.