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Melinda Beyer, RN, Survivor, Champion

Read about Mindy, Nurse, Advocate, Survivor.

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I was born with a complex congenital heart condition. My parents were told that if I made it to the age of three I would be lucky. I am now 39 years old and a cardiac nurse. Much to the astonishment of my cardiologist, I became a mother to a beautiful baby boy. Not bad for someone not expected to live to see kindergarten! Now, that beautiful boy is, himself, an amazing, energetic kindergartener.

At a very young age I knew that I wanted to give back to others with heart conditions. Volunteering with the American Heart Association on fundraising, advocacy and awareness allows me to do just that. I especially value the time I spend as a member of the Maine Advocacy Committee for the American Heart Association. In this role, I get to see laws changed that I know will greatly impact the heart health of Kyler’s generation. I have traveled to DC to meet with our congressional delegation, I have spent time at the Maine State House lobbying for better access to health coverage and, closer to home, I have sat down for coffee with my State Senator to discuss public health.

For me, having a heart condition is a part of my life, but it is a part that has given me strength and purpose. I have endured two open-heart surgeries and am able to use that experience to help my patients get through very tough times. I know that much of my accomplishments can be attributed to the technology that has been made possible by research, education and advocacy provided by the American Heart Association. Every time I take action on the You’re the Cure network, I know that I am part of the cure and it feels great.

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