Our 2018-19 Louisiana Advocacy Committee is composed of individuals from across the state with different occupations, who have a great interest in advocating for policy change for heart-health issues. Throughout the year, we will introduce some of our members. Today, meet Crystal Pichon of Baton Rouge.
Occupation: Lexlee’s Kids Executive Director
Length of time volunteering for the American Heart Association: Eight months
Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. What’s yours? Although I work in safety and injury prevention, I obtained my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, Health Education and Promotion (Community Health) from Southeastern Louisiana University. Health has always been at the center of my heart (no pun intended)! I literally fell into safety by accident, however the two go hand -in-hand, and I get to stick close to both. So, my why? I love my life, it’s not perfect, but it’s mine. I want to be around for as long as possible to experience the many treasures and opportunities a happy and healthy life has to offer. I want to be here for my family, for those who love me, and want to keep me around. I hear life gets better with age, and I intend to be here to find out.
Many people choose to volunteer for the American Heart Association because they’ve been impacted by heart disease or stroke. Do you have a personal connection to our nation’s No. 1 and 5 killers? Heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a little bit of cancer runs in my family. In recent years, I have watched my father undergo several surgeries to reverse the effects of living an unhealthy lifestyle (he’s something like a cat with nine lives)! He has recovered well, and is still with us. Hopefully he will take the opportunity to make better lifestyle choices, age gracefully and enjoy a healthier life.
What interests you about advocating for policies that help create healthier communities, and protect heart disease and stroke patients? As a nonprofit professional, advocating is a lifestyle for me. My advocating typically stays within the boundaries of my own agency’s mission, however outside of my agency I am a regular ole community member. I am always interested in advocating for something that will help me live longer, so I can continue to do what I love! In the end for me…personal, professional…it all comes full circle. If I am not healthy, I cannot enthusiastically chase my passion. The fact that many of my family members suffer from heart disease is the cherry on top of my interest!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? There isn’t much spare time, but when I am not officially working, I can be found spending time with family, friends and loved ones; cleaning house and beautifying my yard. HGTV inspires me to be absolutely fabulous on the home front! I’m also pretty active, I don’t particularly LOVE working out, but I indulge. I enjoy biking because I have this uber awesome helmet that I just adore. I’m also a total beach girl, who tries to avoid direct sunlight!
Let’s play a quick round of “would you rather.” Would you rather –
- Hike or bike? BIKE
- Go climbing or zip lining? CLIMBING
- Go canoeing or waterskiing? CANOEING
- Swim in a pool or the ocean? POOL
- Watch sports or play sports? PLAY SPORTS
What was your favorite activity in P.E.? It’s the parachutes, right?! Dodge ball…hands down!
What does your perfect day look like? A day where I wake up, and am afforded the opportunities of the day. But if you need something more fun and specific…beachfront, tent, music, games, food, drinks, and some laid-back fun!