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father and son

2021 Stroke Caregiver Hero: Mark Matasic

The American Stroke Association recently honored stroke survivors, health care professionals and caregivers from across the country. We're excited to introduce Mark Matasic of Campbellsville, Ohio, as our 2021 Stroke Caregiver Award recipient.

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hero_image_alt_text===father and son
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A picture of Noah.

Advocate Spotlight: Noah Rich

Youth advocates play a key role in advocacy. Noah Rich, an advocate and senior at Towson High School, has been a You’re the Cure advocate for three years, working on state issues, attending Federal Lobby Day with his friends, and speaking up about tobacco issues that were important to him. Noah has learned the power of stories. “When I first went to testify on Tobacco 21 legislation with a few other high schoolers 3 years ago, one piece of advice we got was to really use our stories: statistics and data are concrete, but stories and anecdotes are what make those facts matter.”

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hero_image_alt_text===A picture of Noah.
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A picture of Abby with a puppy.

Advocate Spotlight: Abby Davis

In 2019, Abigail (Abby) Davis was named the American Heart Association’s National Youth Advocate of the Year, an award she received at the annual Hero’s Awards Dinner in conjunction with You’re the Cure on the Hill Day in Washington, D.C.

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hero_image_alt_text===A picture of Abby with a puppy.
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thumbnail_alt_text===A picture of Abby with a puppy.
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Nicole Murray

Nicole Murray, Stroke Survivor and Health Advocate

Meet Nicole Murray, stroke survivor, health advocate and one of the newest members of our Indiana AHA Advocacy Committee.

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hero_image_alt_text===Nicole Murray
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Terry and Lesa Lewis

Some things in life are beyond our control. While we can take advantage of resources available to us, like eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, and living an active lifestyle, changing fate is not within our grasp.  If you were to ask Terry Lewis and his wife, Lesa, if they agree, they will answer with a resounding “Yes!”
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Shannon Shumaker

Doing My Part for a Healthy Future

Advocacy gives me an opportunity to represent myself, my family, community, and profession. I’m doing my part to influence a healthy future for all those I love and to speak up on the issues that are important to health.   

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hero_image_alt_text===Shannon Shumaker
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Picture of Zara

Advocate Spotlight: Zara Nadeem inspires students to advocate for healthy hearts!

After seeing the impact heart health had on Zara Nadeem’s family, she was inspired to speak out on health issues and have her fellow students join her fight.

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Gary and Elaine

Meet Gary Bulmer

This month, we are proud to feature Oklahoma advocate Gary Bulmer. Eleven months after marrying his wife Elaine, Gary suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at just 20 years old. Rather than let adversity get the best of him, Gary decided to devote his life to helping other stroke survivors, their spouses, family, and friends in their journey to recovery and understanding.

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hero_image_alt_text===Gary and Elaine
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A head shot of a young brunette woman

Willow Peterson – Junior at Montana State University Billings

Tobacco prevention and education work has been a major focus point in my life for seven years. In 8th grade, I joined my local tobacco prevention club. As I started high school, my classmates began to use tobacco products. Some of my close family members and friends got addicted to nicotine at a very young age. Seeing them cough until vomiting, having trouble breathing, and using any means to feed their addiction had a powerful impact on me. It hurt me to see them abuse an addictive product that would negatively impact their physical and mental health. As a result, I became a passionate health advocate.

I have had the great honor of working with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. As a sophomore in high school, I was chosen to represent Montana in their annual Youth Advocacy Symposium. I was flown out to Washington D.C. to work with other passionate youth from around the country. This program consists of a week of in-depth training from professionals and opportunities to talk to legislators at the federal level. I met with Senator Jon Tester to discuss how flavored tobacco is negatively impacting the lives of teens and young adults in Montana. I was asked to return in 2017 and 2018. This year, I joined as a Young Adult Ambassador. With help from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, I had the amazing opportunity to talk about my advocacy work in an interview with our local news station.

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hero_image_alt_text===A head shot of a young brunette woman
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Dr. Hooks-Anderson

Meet Dr. Hooks-Anderson

Dr. Hooks-Anderson is a Family Physician and the President of American Heart Association’s Board of Directors in St. Louis, MO. She is a community leader and vocal advocate for better health policy, having been instrumental in the work of the American Heart Association over the past several years.

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