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Ruby Johnson

Ruby Johnson: A Voice in the Fight Against Youth Vaping

The experience of sending our first child off to college this past fall was a life changing experience… but not in the way I ever expected.

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hero_image_alt_text===Ruby Johnson
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Jill Duis

Advocate Spotlight: Jill Duis

Occasionally I’m asked about my passion for AHA. Why I volunteer, why I believe in the organization and why I travel, speak, walk, jump rope, sponsor and participate. In a society that constantly questions what’s in it for me, I’m happy to share. First and foremost, what’s in it for me is you. Every year I get the privilege and honor of speaking with people young and old about heart disease and the opportunity to tell them my story.

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hero_image_alt_text===Jill Duis
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Traci Gunter

Traci Gunter, Alabama

Nine months ago, Traci Gunter of Gadsden miraculously survived a heart attack while driving to work. She was 23.

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hero_image_alt_text===Traci Gunter
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thumbnail_alt_text===Traci Gunter
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group photo

It Wasn't a Matter of If, But When

There is a long history of heart disease in my family. My grandfather died at a very early age, my father had a quadruple bypass in his 50s, and my younger, healthier brother had a heart attack at 40. I was immune only by luck.

 

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hero_image_alt_text===group photo
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jack simono and daughter

Advocate Spotlight, Jack Simono

I had a routine test 12 years ago and was diagnosed with two arteries that were 90% blocked, even though I was a lifelong runner and had no symptoms.  Twelve years later, with 4 stents, a daily statin drug, continued exercise and a healthy diet, I'm still running and healthy.   

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hero_image_alt_text===Jack Simono and daughter
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Tracie Chandler

Meet Tracie Chandler

At age 39, I weighed 240 pounds. I was fighting obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. My doctor said if I wanted to live into my forties, I needed to do something about my health. With a leap of faith, my journey began. 

 

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hero_image_alt_text===Tracie Chandler
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Reilly Brown

Speaking Out to Save Our Youth

My time spent at Congressional Lobby Day in D.C. was an invaluable experience. Being able to spend time with other AHA volunteers and survivors is something that I will never forget. 

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hero_image_alt_text===Reilly Brown
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thumbnail_alt_text===Reilly Brown
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Award winners

Meet our 2019 Advocates of the Year

Earlier this month, four special advocates were recognized and awarded for their commitment and achievements at the American Heart Association’s annual Hero’s Awards Dinner that took place in conjunction with our You’re the Cure on the Hill event in Washington, D.C.

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hero_image_alt_text===Award winners
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thumbnail_alt_text===Award winners
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Jennifer Collins

Jennifer Collins, Finding Hope with Heart

Jennifer is the current chair of the North Carolina Advocacy Coordinating Committee, the committee that helps steer advocacy for the state. She welcomes everyone, is passionate about her beliefs, and is a person who walks the walk – and talks the talk – about advocating to make a difference.  Moments after her daughter was born, Jennifer and her husband Rob were told she had a heart defect known as a transposition of the great arteries.  This means the two main arteries carrying blood away from the heart are reversed.

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hero_image_alt_text===Jennifer Collins
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thumbnail_alt_text===Jennifer Collins
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Dr. Vigilance

Meet Dr. Deon Vigilance

Dr. Deon Vigilance has served as a champion for improved health policy in Philadelphia since joining the AHA’s Philadelphia Board. He has been a leading voice in public health on the need to address the social determinants of health that will improve the significant health disparities seen in Philadelphia; a city where residents who live less than two miles apart can have nearly a decade difference in life expectancy. 

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hero_image_alt_text===Dr. Vigilance
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