Preventable Illness is why
What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?
As a Health and Physical Education teacher, I have always been passionate about taking care of our heart and health in general. My dedication rose to a higher level 11 ½ years ago, after my mother passed away from a heart attack, a result of 20 years of smoking and being over-weight. Anything I can do to prevent others from experiencing early loss due to preventable illnesses, I will do my best to accomplish.
What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?
I believe we need to do more to educate our youth on the dangers of nicotine, in all forms, and would like to see our state do more to prevent our children from being targeted by businesses encouraging them to start the habits that will get them addicted to nicotine. If a person does not begin using nicotine by the time they reach their 20’s, they will not ever begin. We need to protect our teens from starting any kind of nicotine habit. I would also like to see our youth be more physically active. Over the past 10 years we have seen a reduction in the number of students participating in school athletic activities, as well as non-school related activities. We need to encourage more opportunities for them to be physically active, as well as teaching them the importance of being active.
What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?
For several years I have been able to participate in the Day on the Hill Advocacy event sponsored by the American Heart Association. Being able to educate legislators on the importance of keeping our children moving, especially while in school, is a very important topic to me. I appreciate the opportunity this event gives myself and other advocates to provide this important information to our policy makers.
What is your favorite way to be active?
I enjoy hiking and biking in the summer months, and in the winter I enjoy cross country skiing as well as going to the YMCA to workout.
What is your favorite fruit or vegetable and any tips for how you serve or prepare it?
My favorite meal to make is zucchini spaghetti, with fresh zucchini, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and black olives. This followed closely by my favorite snack of fresh sweet potato fries, tossed with olive oil, garlic powder, and baked at 425 for about 20 minutes.