The American Heart Association is fortunate to have passionate advocates in every state across America. But there is only one Stacey Derrick – and South Carolina is proud to claim her.
AHA advocates are passionate for a myriad of reasons: some have been personally touched by cardiovascular disease and stroke. Others believe in the policy work that You’re the Cure advocates and staff work to pass at local, state, and federal levels.
Still others are engaged for all these reasons – including Stacey.
Her personal story is one that will tug at your heart strings. At the age of 36, Stacey had just given birth to a son. Six weeks after he was born, she suffered a SCAD: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Discretion.
For several years following her event, she ignored her health and even refused to see a cardiologist. Eventually, she realized the need to make a change. She began working out daily, taking short walks around her neighborhood to gradually build her physical endurance – and used the AHA website to guide her nutrition journey. As time passed, she lost over 55 pounds and trained to successfully finish her first marathon!
Stacey did not stop there. She attended an open call for volunteers with the Go Red For Women movement in Columbia, and she knew it was the right organization and the right cause for her passion. She then accepted an invitation to an advocacy training with You’re the Cure: and from there, as they say - the rest is history.
In her time with the network, Stacey has been instrumental in her advocacy of numerous policies – the most visible of which was House Bill 3625, or CPR in Schools. She was chosen to participate in National Lobby Day, two South Carolina State Lobby Days, meetings with legislators during August recess on several occasions, chair the SC Advocacy committee, address legislative sub-committees, be recognized on the SC House Floor, and she’s sent more You’re The Cure action alert requests than she can count.
In her words, “The highlight of my advocacy efforts would have to be when the CPR in schools legislation was passed. As a trustee on my local school board, I could not have been prouder to see this action become legislation.”
Stacey is a mother. She is a wife, a friend, a colleague – and a You’re the Cure advocate. Her life is living proof that even in the most difficult of circumstances, you can prevail and make a difference in a large way – even as one person.
South Carolina and the American Heart Association are better for having Stacey within our ranks.