Kerry Lion of Pass Christian was Chair of our 2014-15 State Advocacy Committee. She has been a faithful volunteer and advocate with the American Heart Association for the last seven years due to her son, Garrett, who is her why. Garrett was born with multiple heart defects diagnosed as Shone's Complex, which resulted in two open heart surgeries. Today, he is pacemaker dependent, but healthy and thriving in high school.
What is your occupation? Senior Accountant for Signing River Healthy Systems
How long and in what capacity have you been a volunteer? I've been a volunteer for seven years and have had the opportunity to speak at various events on behalf of You're the Cure. I currently chair the State Advocacy Committee and raise funds for the Gulf Cost Heart Walk.
Which AHA advocacy campaign is most important to you and why? I can't choose just one! I am particularly invested in screening for heart defects in newborns, healthy food options for all Mississippians, and a Smokefree Mississippi.
What are two ways you keep yourself healthy? Eat right and exercise regularly
Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I love to talk! Big surprise! I really love to talk about the American Heart Association. I recently went to the bank and struck up a conversation with the teller who was helping me. I started talking about my son, I turned around, and the lady next to me thanked me. She was grateful to know the help that I attributed to the American Heart Association for my son. She did not have a "why" when she walked into the bank but with my story that she learned of, it gave her a why! My why is pretty cute, and he tends to win hearts over even when he is not in the room. I'm thankful to have his inspiration by my side on a daily basis for me and for others.
(Written in 2015)