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The Youth Voice Can Go A Long Way

The age of an advocate is just a number to most: what really matters is how you share your story to make a difference.

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At fifteen, Andrew Milhorn was like any other teenager: quite simply, he was active.  A participant in extracurricular sports with a typical high school social life, Andrew had never experienced any warning signs or symptoms for any serious heart conditions.  In fact, he had been so healthy that he and his mom Kirsten assumed they would breeze in and out of the doctor’s office that fateful day of his scheduled appointment for the routine physical he needed to play baseball that season for his high school in Northern Virginia.

All of that changed when it was discovered unexpectedly, and with alarm, during that appointment that Andrew had a resting heartbeat of 130.  Immediately referred to a pediatric cardiologist, it was diagnosed the next morning that Andrew suffered from arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat.  Fortunate to have access to quality healthcare through his parents’ insurance plan, in just days he was able to meet and undergo testing with the pediatric cardiologist and another specialist, and was quickly in and out of surgery with a catheter ablation.  Within a week, he was cleared to return to sports, school, and music.

Choosing to make more of his life-changing experience than only identify as a heart survivor, Andrew turned to advocacy.  He has become engaged with Grassroots activities in his suburban DC community, and is passionate about access to quality care for all Americans, just like the care that saved his life.  Like the AHA, Andrew believes health care should be accessible, adequate, and affordable for all Americans, and is committed to working with the American Heart Association to achieve this goal.

You, too, can be like Andrew: join us at You’re the Cure to learn more about how you can make a difference.

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