My time spent at Congressional Lobby Day in D.C. was an invaluable experience. Being able to spend time with other AHA volunteers and survivors is something that I will never forget.
I feel as though we had a voice and, together, our voice was heard on Capitol Hill on October 17th. It was heartening to see so many people wearing red that day and to know that we were making a difference. I believe it's critical to raise awareness about heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the nation, and how research funding and policy change can have a real impact.
In particular, it was exciting to share with my members of Congress my personal experience as a college student watching my peers who would never consider smoking cigarettes begin using and become addicted to e-cigarettes as we urged them to ban flavored tobacco products. I will continue to reach out to my lawmakers on this issue and encourage others, especially youth, to speak out as well because I know that the health of our kids depends on our success.