GUEST BLOG: Celebrating Survivors at the Capitol

Hello everyone! I’m back this month to tell you all about the amazing experience I had at the 2020 Go Red for Women Survivor Gallery Unveiling that took place at the Arkansas State Capitol on February 6th. I was so excited when I was invited to speak and spend this day with so many incredible women who are passionate about heart health!  When I arrived at the Capitol, I was welcomed by so many wonderful people who were just as excited as I was!


To kick off the event, I started my Instagram Takeover on the @ahaarkansas page! Yay! I was able to take photos with everyone at our super fun photo booth! Along with my IG takeover, I was able to speak on the advocacy work of the American Heart Association as a part of the program. I was excited to be asked to speak on something I am so passionate about! We were then able to hear from First Lady, Susan Hutchinson, Representative Deborah Ferguson, and Senator Jane English. I was extremely moved by these women’s speeches and I learned so much! Not only did they share their own experiences with heart health, they told the stories of many of their friends and family members who have been impacted by heart disease. These women truly shed light on the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women. I loved hearing from such admirable women!

Along with that, I was able to listen to the stories of eight extraordinary women: Suzette Hamilton, Michelle Rupp, Lucy Street, Miracle Diaz, Katie Lea, Lisa Gaddy, Jennifer Siccardi, and Amber Edwards. These women showed me and many other young women what it means to be a fighter. All of the survivors had extremely inspiring stories and I was so happy that I got to hear them! The group of survivors was extremely diverse, which shows that heart disease really does affect everyone. After the Gallery Unveiling, I was able to meet and take photos with so many new people, which I posted on the @ahaarkansas Instagram page! Be sure to go check it out. 

One of my favorite parts of the entire day was getting to talk to young women who are just as passionate about heart health! It is so amazing to be around people that share my passion for heart health and advocacy. Another fantastic part of this day was that my family got to come to share this experience with me. My mom and grandmother came and were able to learn about advocacy through the American Heart Association. My family has been greatly affected by heart disease in many ways, and I was so honored to be a part of this event.

Throughout the day, we continued to learn more and more about the work that the American Heart Association does to bring awareness to Cardiovascular disease. I learned that there are so many ways to advocate for heart health and teach people about the importance of protecting your heart. My family and I were so happy to learn more about how we can help others keep themselves healthy!

This day meant so much to me because I got to see first hand how heart disease has affected so many lives. Even if you are not personally affected by heart disease, someone close to you may be. We need to continue to spread the message that heart disease is currently claiming the lives of one in three women. The Go Red for Women Gallery Unveiling is such an amazing event that honors survivors and teaches women how to protect their hearts! I am so honored to have been asked to attend this event and hope to see you all there next year! As always, I can’t wait to talk to you all in March!

All my love, Hannah

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