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.
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.
hero_image_alt_text===Jack Simono and daughter
thumbnail_alt_text===jack simono and daughter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cody and Jami Fitzpatrick
In 2009, when Cody Fitzpatrick was just 5 years old, he slipped under water and was found at the bottom of the community pool he was visiting with family. As 911 was alerted, an amazing bystander jumped into action. Jennifer Turner-Adams, or “Cody’s Angel” as the Fitzpatrick family refers to her, started performing CPR, and continued for an astonishing 15 minutes before EMS personnel arrived. After this terrifying experience Cody and his mom, Jami, decided they wanted to ensure that as many people as possible had the ability to perform this life saving skill, and they began working with the AHA to help train as many people as possible.
hero_image_alt_text===Picture of a boy standing next to his mom
thumbnail_alt_text===Picture of a boy standing next to his mom
A Mothers Love
This month the spotlight is on Ashlea Konecny. Ashlea has been an advocate with the AHA in Kansas for a while. She got involved through her family, but when her son was born with a heart defect, it became even more personal.
hero_image_alt_text===Ashlea and Caden
thumbnail_alt_text===Ashlea and Caden
Volunteer Report: Lisa Deck attends Global Forum on CVD
Last month, my advocacy took me to all new levels. I was asked to represent the American Heart Association at a Global Forum in Tokyo, Japan. The Forum was hosted by the Health and Global Policy Institute, a non-profit health policy think tank based in Tokyo. The American Heart Association was invited to speak on a panel about patient involvement in cardiovascular disease policy for sustainable healthcare systems. I was asked to share my experience infusing the patient experience in discussions about health policy.