I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you about my experience in Washington D.C. for AHA's 2017 You’re the Cure on the Hill lobby event. First let me say that I survived open heart surgery two and a half years ago.
I’m an attorney from Mansfield, Ohio. I have a busy practice and I am involved in a lot of activities and community events. I thought I was in good health until I had difficulty breathing during the winter of 2014-2015. One thing led to another and all of a sudden, I was diagnosed with a 90% blockage to the main artery of my heart and was told that I was having open heart surgery the very next day. Needless to say, my wife, Cindy and I were in a state of shock.
Fast forward two years. Our daughter, Shea works for AHA and she asked me if I might be interested in attending lobby day in Washington D.C. I really had no idea what she was talking about, but I said yes. Before you knew it, I was on a plane to our nation’s Capital. What I witnessed was nothing short of amazing. I had no idea that there would be hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the country there to tell their story, to lobby Congress and to support AHA.
One of the things that struck me greatly is the instant comradery that I felt with everyone there. The staff members, the other invitees and the speakers were all so gracious and engaging. One evening, while I was waiting for dinner I started up a conversation with a man who was also waiting. We had some idle chit chat for a while and I asked him, "What do you do"? He said, "I am a heart transplant surgeon." I was actually talking with a heart transplant surgeon! He was the most unassuming and wonderful man. I wish I could remember his name, but you get the idea. Everyone was there to participate and help each other in this important event.
The actual lobbying event on Capitol Hill was extremely beneficial. I had never participated in anything like it. So, not only did I get to hang out with some really neat people and lobby members of Congress, but I also had a little free time to visit some of the sites in our nation’s Capital. I especially enjoyed seeing the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court (as a lawyer you would think I would appreciate that)!
In summary, when I think back on the lobby day events which I attended for AHA, it brings a great big smile to my face. I was so happy and proud to be a small part of a great big organization.
--Charles D. Lynch