Hello! I’m Graham Wilson and I’ve recently joined the American Heart Association’s Grassroots team as the Senior Lead for Federal Affairs. I’m incredibly honored to get to work with you as we all work together to combat heart disease and stroke. I come to the AHA after having spent more than 15 years working in coalitions, campaigns and issue advocacy.
I’d like to share a brief story about why the work of the AHA matters to me:
My grandfather Warren was a key part of my childhood. I have so many memories of him teaching me how to fish, playing baseball together and spending time in his fruit and vegetable garden in central Minnesota. In the spring of 2015, my grandfather had a stroke and did not survive. He had lost his younger brother to a stroke 5 years earlier. With the benefit of hindsight and family history in mind, it was very likely that my grandfather had been having multiple silent strokes for the last years of his life. He had begun to have trouble walking, had a difficult time speaking, and was more easily confused.
I miss my grandfather and wonder if we might have had a few more years with him if we had diagnosed his silent strokes earlier.
World Stroke Day is October 29th and the American Stroke Association has put together a very easy guide to understanding stroke warning signs and symptoms. I encourage you to learn more about the warning signs and symptoms here. I know I’ll be watching my family for those symptoms and doing what I can to lower the risk for myself and my loved ones.
It truly is an honor to have the opportunity to work with you all. You’ll hear from me soon when action is needed on our federal policy priorities. If you have ideas for how we can make an impact together, please comment below or drop me a note at [email protected]