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GUEST BLOG: From My Heart - At Any Age, You Can Make a Difference

In the last month, I have experienced so much joy from my involvement with the American Heart Association. The Central Arkansas Heart walk on May 28th was filled to the brim with fun! On that beautiful Saturday morning, I was privileged to walk with Team Adycakes and support my Diamond State Princess that will walk with me on the Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen stage this summer, Adyson Coleman, take over the You're The Cure twitter account, sign the heart wall in memory of my Pap, and catch up with lots of friends who came out to show their support for heart disease and stroke awareness.

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I also had a great opportunity to join up with Kelly Lamb with the American Heart Association and share “my why” with a very special organization called Mended Little Hearts of Little Rock. This organization provides information and support for families affected by congenital heart defects. Those precious children and their families were so enjoyable to spend time with. I loved every minute of my time with them. And the great memories made at those two events would certainly have been enough for me. But I had no idea what was to come. 

Last Friday was filled with such an incredible surprise as I was awarded the first ever 2018 Youth Advocate of the Year Award for the American Heart Association at the Central Arkansas Go Red for Women Luncheon!  I was so grateful to hear that a Central Arkansas AHA board member said “if a teenager can be that committed and engaged, then we have no excuse as adults not to do the same.” I hope my award will serve as an inspiration to everyone to join me as an advocate for the AHA!

I will forever be thankful for Allison Hogue, AHA Affiliate Grassroots Director, who has become such a role model to me. Thank you for allowing me to volunteer for the AHA at every turn and believing in me. Kelly Lamb, AHA Youth Market Director, thank you for allowing me to be part of Jump Rope for Heart. Tammy Quick, AHA Heart Ball Director, thank you for allowing me to talk to the sweethearts about my journey. Thank you to the AHA organization for allowing me to write as a monthly guest blogger that helps my small voice reach a larger audience. And to everyone else that has supported me and loved me along the way, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to volunteer and realize that at any age, you can make a real difference.

I also need to mention my continued inspiration, Gary Davis. I miss you more than anything, Pap. Your memory lives on in me as I share your story and encourage others to live a heart healthy lifestyle.

What a special Go Red for Women Luncheon that was made even better as I was surrounded by precious family and friends. I have no idea how you all were able to keep this huge surprise from me but I will forever cherish that moment!!

I want to challenge each and every one of you to get involved with the American Heart Association today! There is a volunteer opportunity just right for everyone and Allison Hogue would be happy to help you find a place where you can make a difference. Just email her at Allison.Hogue@heart.org. Also, add your voice and become an AHA advocate today by texting ABBY to 46839 or visit yourethecure.org/join. We need YOU in the fight to create a heart-healthy Arkansas!

Until next time,

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