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Meet Maggie: A Young Advocate with a Big Heart

Growing up, I lost multiple loved ones to heart attack and stroke. I had to face a terrible reality of heart disease my entire childhood. After hearing a Piggott local had suffered a massive stroke, I knew I wanted to help. Heart disease is catastrophic on it's own, but facing it alone is a nightmare I couldn't imagine.

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I wanted to do everything in my power to ensure Mr. John Cole would not feel alone. So, after meeting with my church representatives, it was decided South Thornton Church of Christ would join me in supporting Mr. John's battle. But, it was also very important to me to raise money for education, so not only Mr. John could benefit from this, but others could also prevent this awful disease. The American Heart Association is an organization very dear to me, so it only felt right to promote and raise funds for the AHA through this fundraiser. 

After several meetings, phone calls, and ideas, it was decided this fundraiser would be a 5K! What better way to promote heart health than through physical activity and community education. It didn't take long for my entire small community to get involved.

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Fast forward to July 15...over the course of three weeks we posted 250+ flyers, built a 4th of July parade float, and raised $3,000. I was so pleased with the turnout and results of the fundraiser! It was exciting to be able to incorporate my own platform as Miss Teen Arkansas International, Helping Hands Saving Hearts, which I created to better educate rural communities on heart disease! I was able to do so by hosting this fundraiser in my hometown of Piggott, Arkansas.

A big thank you goes out to my Piggott community! Together, we have supported the mission of the American Heart Association to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. 

I would love for you to get involved with the advocacy efforts of the AHA. Join the You're The Cure network today by clicking HERE.

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Maggie Williams is Miss Teen Arkansas International and a sophomore at Piggott High School. As a part of her pageant platform, she is focusing on prevention of heart disease and stroke by educating communities on Life's Simple 7. Maggie's grandmother died at a young age from heart disease because her family wasn't aware of the dangers and signs to prevent her heart attack. Maggie is focusing on educating rural communities, the Go Red for Women movement and supporting the advocacy work of the American Heart Association.  She has spoken at schools, statewide events and community centers to groups of all ages. When she was 14, Maggie started her own program in honor of her grandmother,"Helping Hands, Saving Hearts". She has attended the American Heart Association Advocating for Heart Day at the Arkansas State Capitol and met individually with her state legislators to talk about her platform. Read more about Maggie and her passion for the mission of the AHA on her blog HERE.

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Want to volunteer with the AHA? We would love to find an opportunity that is right for you! Please email Allison.Hogue@heart.org

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