I am always so excited when our volunteers and advocates are recognized for their hard work! Diane Pickles was named by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) as an Unsung Heroine. The MCSW is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance woman of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and promote their rights and opportunities. This was the 11th annual Unsung Heroine event to highlight woman who are performing unheralded acts of public leadership and volunteerism in our communities.
Diane has been a dedicated and tireless advocate for heart disease and stroke awareness and prevention for more than 18 years. She was inspired to take action after her son Jake was born with a life-threatening congenital heart defect. He had his first open heart surgery at just three days old, the second at six months and his third when he was two years old. Jake was diagnosed early and received excellent care and has happily just finished his first year of college. For the past two decades, Diane has been active with the AHA and has advocated on behalf of issues of health care access, insurance coverage, congenital heart, AEDs and CPR, tobacco and stroke. She was a driving force behind lobbying the Massachusetts legislature to pass An Act Relative to Newborn Pulse Oximetry Screenings for Newborns for Congenital Heart Defects in March 2014.I truly believe that without Diane's perseverance this bill might not have gotten done! Diane was also recently named on our 2014 Go Red for Woman Boston Spokesperson and is the Vice Chair of the MA Advocacy Advisory Committee.
I want to thank Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) for recognizing Diane's passion and dedication and nominating her to be an Unsung Heroine. I know we at the AHA truly believe that Diane demonstrates what an unsung heroine is! I was so proud to be part of her being recognized and I look forward to the next great advocacy victory we can achieve!