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Advocate Spotlight - Brad Gast

Meet a great volunteer and State Advocacy Committee member!

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What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?

When I lost my father to a sudden heart attack, I made a promise in his eulogy that I would do everything I could in his memory to impact the world positively.  Although the experience of losing my greatest fan was one of the darkest times in my life, his memory fuels my passion to make a difference and ensure everything possible is done to save lives. 

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

There are many policies which make a tremendous impact.  I am most passionate about issues that affect our children.  If we can get children started on the path of a healthy lifestyle, it will help change the course of an entire generation.  We need to do everything possible to ensure we provide healthy school meals, limit added sugars, and ensure robust physical education programs.

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?

Although everything about advocating is amazing, the journey of passing the Pulse Ox bill was one of my favorite moments.  Having lost a son at 2 days of age, I personally know how difficult it is to experience the heart wrenching loss of a child.  This bill makes such a tremendous difference as it saves babies lives.  I still get goosebumps knowing the tremendous impact of this bill made.

What is your favorite way to be active?

I think it is very important to live an active life.  I love to stay active by running, working out, and playing with my children.  My favorite activity though is cycling.  Being able to experience the world via bicycling and traveling roads not seen by many is always invigorating.  I plan to take my passion for cycling a bit further this year by completing the ride across Iowa this year, cycling over 400 miles in a week.  I am dedicating this ride in memory of my father and son while raising funds for a scholarship.

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

Since I make my own fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies every day, I am a big fan of enjoying many types of fruits and vegetables.  If I had to pick just one, I would go with a delicious golden pineapple.  My parents brought fresh pineapple from Hawaii many years ago and I was hooked.  The flavor from them awakens the taste buds!

 

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