I started with the American Heart Association over 15 years ago through the Train to End Stroke program. I had decided to challenge myself to run my first half marathon while committing to a great cause. Through my work at the time as a Physical Therapist, I had experience treating individuals of varying ages impacted by stroke and heart disease.
Heart disease is also very personal to me. Both my father and my mother in law had multi vessel coronary artery bypass grafts in their early fifties. While I had a basic understanding of the American Heart Association prior to joining Train to End Stroke, it was through my experience with the organization that I became more informed of the mission and advocacy opportunities.
It has been a great honor to be able to be involved at various levels of advocacy. I have been on different committees and have chaired the Advocacy team for PA for several years. This experience has afforded me the opportunity to participate in Advocacy days at a local, state and national level. Bringing awareness of critical lifesaving issues and influencing decisions that impact health is what has kept me involved over the years.
My “why” is not only fueled by my clinical background and family history. I have been in the community and needed to initiate CPR twice. I have personally seen the need for AEDs in the community and the value of CPR training. These are examples of the issues that the American Heart Association is invested in. I am grateful to play a small role in advocacy for an amazing organization that continues to research, educate on and fund initiatives that make a difference in today and the future. Together, as volunteers we can make an impact in furthering the mission of the American Heart Association!