Jennifer Collins, Finding Hope with Heart
Jennifer is the current chair of the North Carolina Advocacy Coordinating Committee, the committee that helps steer advocacy for the state. She welcomes everyone, is passionate about her beliefs, and is a person who walks the walk – and talks the talk – about advocating to make a difference. Moments after her daughter was born, Jennifer and her husband Rob were told she had a heart defect known as a transposition of the great arteries. This means the two main arteries carrying blood away from the heart are reversed.
As a young person in North Carolina, I see the detrimental effects of having little to no healthcare because of cost. My own mother is a heart disease survivor and advocate, who survived because of research, funding, and most importantly, her parent’s adequate health insurance coverage.
An Unexpected Diagnosis
Advocates join the You're the Cure network for all kinds of reasons. Some, because of a relative or friend who has experienced cardiovascular disease or a stroke. Others because their interests are even more personal: it has touched them first hand. Join us and learn more about 28-year-old Brett Patterson, NC resident and passionate advocate for health!
hero_image_alt_text===nurse helping Brett with physical therapy
Advocacy can take many different paths and forms. Valerie King, North Carolina advocate and trailblazer, shares her experience with You’re the Cure over the past several years and how she got involved with the grassroots network.
hero_image_alt_text===Valerie King with her daughter, Gretta
Why am I an advocate? What got me started down this path?
Over twenty five years ago, I was working as a boat captain on the Long Island Sound. It was a beautiful summer day around dusk when someone collapsed near me on the dock I was operating. This man was turning blue, and after being frozen with fear I did the only thing I knew to do which was to run for help.
Mary Kay Ballasiotes
Eating healthy foods sounds like something people should just be able to choose, but where I grew up in rural Virginia, that was not the case.
I am the product of my village. When I received the AHA Survivor Advocate of the Year award in DC years ago, I knew it was really not about me.
Several years ago, I completed a 75 mile charity bike ride--a proud achievement and testimony to my level of fitness to complete the ride. About a week later, I went to bed early not feeling well.