Jammie Garcia has seen firsthand the effects of heart disease, and it led to her involvement as a volunteer.
In 2013, her father had gone to his doctor a couple of times with chest pains, but he was told it was likely just acid reflux. But then he felt the pains again, went to his doctor and was immediately directed to the hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest.
Jammie’s father, Juan, is a heart survivor, and his interactions with other survivors after his event made an impression on Jammie, who started looking for volunteer opportunities.
“One of the most helpful things for him was having survivors come and talk to him,” she said. “It was uplifting.”
Jammie, which is pronounced with a long “a,” now serves as the chair of the Colorado State Advisory Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents. Advocacy is something she’s been involved with even before arriving in Colorado.
“Advocacy is important because we all have different experiences, and we’re all affected differently,” she said. “Others can be having a similar experience and not know how to get help. We advocate for what’s important to people, express those views, and make a positive difference in our communities.”
Born and raised in Rawlings, Wyoming, Jammie loves the outdoors. It’s one of the reasons she now lives in Denver. That love of the outdoors also fuels her passion for the annual Heart Walk.
“I like the mountains and being close,” she said. “I love snowboarding and hiking and was so fortunate to do those things during the pandemic.”
Jammie has testified in front of a legislative committee and loves working on preventative measures, particularly around cardiovascular care. She’s also looking forward to being involved in a Heart Ball in the future.
We thank Jammie for her help and leadership in the American Heart Association’s advocacy work!