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Kelly Trenholm, Connecticut

 

The American Heart Association holds a special place in my heart. Like so many others, I have experienced firsthand the effects of heart disease in my family. Watching my beloved grandmother live with the symptoms of congestive heart failure on a day to day basis was extremely difficult for me & my family. This experience ultimately lead me to become involved with the work of the American Heart Association and conducting fund raising events in my grandmother’s memory to help educate the public and be part of the solution.

Having worked with children from a young age, I chose a path to become a health and physical education teacher. I try to lead by example and am a strong advocate of leading a healthy lifestyle.  When I was presented with the opportunity to implement and spearhead the American Heart Association’s Hoops for Heart program in my school, I enthusiastically accepted the challenge of being a champion of the important works of the American Heart Association.

Over the years it has brought me great joy to watch first hand hundreds of my students support the mission to make a difference in the lives of others by raising thousands of dollars. Not only have the students enjoyed accepting and making a difference for Heart Health by raising funds, but more importantly one of their favorite lessons in our Health Curriculum is when they learn how to administer CPR and use an AED machine to aid a person who may be in distress. They know this is a valuable lesson, as they may be the first responder in a cardiovascular situation at any given time. This responsibility is important to them and I feel extremely fortunate to be able to teach this critical life-saving lesson.

It is extremely gratifying to know that the members of our community are more likely to survive a cardiovascular emergency because of the experience these students have received in my classroom. I am honored to have been offered a position on our local Board of Directors to continue to advocate for such important legislation and to make the state of Connecticut a heart healthy and safe community. One of the best ways that I feel that I can personally contribute to that mission is to continue to educate my students, my colleagues, my friends & family to raise their own voice and spread the importance of living a heart healthy life and I believe it all begins with education.

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