We are excited to share something new to the American Heart Association You're The Cure blog with you! Each month, we will be featuring guest blogger and AHA advocate, Abigail Davis with a fresh perspective on the advocacy work of the American Heart Association. Through her lens, you will learn about public policy, volunteer opportunities, fun recipes, heart healthy tips and so much more!
And now Abby's first blog...
Hi! I’m Abigail Davis and I’m very excited to be writing my very first blog post for the American Heart Association. I am honored to be able to share my platform “A Better HEART for a Better Life” on a statewide level in my role as an AHA You’re The Cure advocate and Miss Metro’s Outstanding Teen 2018. It is a part of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Inc. an organization that encourages positive achievement by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living, and community involvement of our nation’s youth.
I thought the best place to start in introducing myself was to explain my WHY. Why do I support the American Heart Association? Why do I want to be involved in volunteering, advocating and fundraising to help further the mission of the American Heart Association? There are a multitude of reasons why, but mainly it’s because of my Pap, Gary Davis.
(L to R) "Pap" Gary Davis, Abigail Davis and Rick Fleetwood
Pap is my grandfather who suffered with heart disease for most of his life. He always took me to Arkansas Razorback football games growing up. He would reach out his arm, hold my hand, and help me walk. As I got older, we still went to see the Hogs play, except one thing was different. I started reaching out my hand to help him walk. I still remember the grip he had on my tiny hands. Pap’s ankles were swollen and it hurt his legs to walk because his blood circulation was poor due to his struggle with heart disease. He had shortness of breath and could not be active for very long without getting tired. But we still enjoyed those games together.
Abby and Pap cheering on the Hogs in 2003
(L to R) Mason, Tammie, Mark and Abigail Davis
One thing that my Pap was amazing at was working hard. He always put others first. He began to work hard to improve his diet, get more exercise, and get in regular doctor visits. Pap did whatever he could to help his heart because he wanted to keep on living for his family. Sadly, my Pap lost his battle with heart disease last spring. I miss him every day, but his memory lives on in me. He inspired me to work hard, educate others on the importance of keeping our hearts healthy, truly care for others, and live each day with a sense of purpose.
Today, I challenge each of you to join me and get involved with the lifesaving advocacy work of the American Heart Association. Add your voice by simply texting ABBY to 46839 right now or visit yourethecure.org/join. It only takes a few moments, and you will be a part of a powerful movement to save lives. I know that the work I am doing with the AHA is making my Pap so very proud, and everything I do is to honor his memory and make a difference in my community.
My Pap is Why
Abigail (Abby) Davis resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is a Junior at Little Rock Christian Academy where she serves as Secretary for the Junior Student Council, public speaker for Future Business Leaders of America, leader for the College Rep Squad, and teacher’s assistant.
When not participating in school activities, she can be found developing new gymnastics skills, practicing dance technique and advocating for the American Heart Association, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Baptist Health, Ronald McDonald House, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Abby was a 2016 American Heart Association Sweetheart. The AHA Sweetheart program is designed to teach young women about heart and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the United States. The ladies participate in education classes, social events, volunteer at area hospitals and take part in fundraising efforts. For more information on this program please email Tammy.Quick@heart.org.
Abigail also enjoys participating in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant organization and mentoring young girls through the system. She desires to change the way people look at their health. Her goal is to give individuals hope for the future and inspire them to make small changes that can make a big difference in their lives. Follow her on "A Better Heart for a Better Life" platform work on Facebook by clicking HERE and Instagram HERE.
(L to R) Miss Greater Little Rock's Outstanding Teen Sarah Cate Lay, Miss Greater Little Rock Jessica Miller, Miss Metro's Outstanding Teen Abigail Davis and Miss Metro Bethany Kasper
Abigail sharing her platform "A Better Heart for a Better Life" with the American Heart Association Central Arkansas Board of Directors in October.
For more information on the advocacy work of the American Heart Association please email Allison.Hogue@heart.org.