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  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Sophia Foster

    Sophia Foster Kansas Cassandra is thankful for a simple screening test for newborns, not yet required in Kansas, as it saved her baby’s life. That screening, called a pulse oximetry test, found the oxygen level in her first child, Sophia, to be dangerously low. It was the first step to discovering...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Linda Dickson

    Linda Dickson Missouri As we travel down the road of life, we can choose the paths we would like to take but sometimes a path is chosen for us. This path can look very scary at first but then you realize it has made your life even more meaningful. The events on March 22, 2007 chose a path that I would...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Ardon Brandt

    Ardon Brandt Iowa I was a first-time mom-to-be. I was 11 days overdue. I was impatient. I wanted to meet my baby. After 34 hours of labor my nurse came racing into my room. She was moving the baby monitor around and getting agitated; she could not find my baby’s heartbeat. The OB was called...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Breckyn Reynolds

    Breckyn Reynolds Kansas I had an uneventful pregnancy. After giving birth to my third daughter Breckyn, we noticed something wasn’t ‘quite right.’ However, no one at the hospital seemed concerned and they sent us home with our newborn baby girl. Weeks later, while we attended the...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Renee Stringer

    Renee Stringer Iowa My heart issues became apparent in 2002 when I was having episodes where my heart would race to the point where my body would cough excessively until my heart would resume to normal. The episodes had been occurring for a couple of years, however I didn’t worry about them...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Kim Edmonds

    Kim Edmonds Missouri My story begins, 42 years ago, at birth. From the beginning, I had been diagnosed with a heart murmur, which is not uncommon for newborns. It wasn’t until my sports physical during my senior year in high school until it was ever brought up again. Initially, I was misdiagnosed...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Steve Price

    Steve Price Missouri I am an active person and exercise regularly...lifting weights, running, biking etc. I limit fast foods and have a relatively healthy diet. I have a family history of heart disease. My father had a triple bypass; my mother has mild congestive heart failure, two stents and hypertension;...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Jane Wolf

    Jane Wolf Iowa On May 3, 2006, I collapsed at home. My heart, after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery two weeks prior, quit. Due to forces I can only understand as divine, my heart started again on its own and allowed time for an ambulance to arrive. To this day, I have no recollection of making...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Sandra Billinger

    Sandra Billinger Kansas I have been a supporter of the American Heart Association (AHA) since I was in the 5th grade. I was first introduced to them by my physical education teacher who suggested we participate in the Jump Rope for Heart event. We (our team) were supposed to raise money and try to...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Jodi Jackson

    Jodi Jackson Kansas I suffered a massive heart attack on October 13, 2011 at the age of 42. This came as a complete surprise. Although I knew I wasn't the healthiest person, I didn't think that I was that unhealthy. I had just had a full physical, my total cholesterol was only 134 and I had...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Velda McMorris

    Velda McMorris Missouri I was 44 when I had a heart attack. At work on a Friday, I began experiencing pain in both arms. After a couple of hours, I called my primary care physician's office and asked to speak to a nurse. When I told her I was having severe arm pain and I thought it might be my...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Ellen Pieper

    Ellen Pieper Iowa On Jan. 30, 2000, at the age 33, Ellen Pieper suffered a stroke. A day she will never forget as it changed the course of her life’s journey. It was super Bowl Sunday, the fourth day of what Ellen describes as the "worst migraine of her life". "I had a 16-year...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Trenda Alexander

    Trenda Alexander Kansas In 2003 I experienced my first stroke. As a result, I had both speech and muscle problems. The doctors told me that I was very lucky that my situation did not turn out worse. Unfortunately, in 2004 I had another stroke. This time I wasn’t as lucky as it was more serious...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Jennifer Stevenson

    Jennifer Stevenson Iowa It started as an annoying chest pain that wouldn’t go away. It was routinely in the middle of my hectic day that my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest because it was beating so fast. This annoying pain that was keeping me from my work and making me...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Teri Ackerson

    Teri Ackerson Missouri For years, Teri Ackerson has been working to improve the system of care for Kansas City-area stroke patients. Through her work as the stroke coordinator at Centerpoint Medical Center, and as a volunteer for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, Teri...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Holly Haynes

    Holly Haynes Kansas I was born on Valentine’s Day in 1984, along with an amazing twin sister. We were tiny preemie babies born about 6 weeks early. My sister was born weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces while I weighed only 2 pounds, 14 ounces. I was in the hospital for 41 days before my parents could...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: John Jorgensen

    John Jorgensen Iowa I am a paramedic from Sioux City, Iowa and have been involved in Emergency Medical Services for 25 years. I am currently a Training Officer for Siouxland Paramedics, Inc. When I first began in EMS, I started out as a volunteer in a smaller community in North Central Iowa. Shortly...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Mindy Andre

    Mindy Andre Missouri I never gave much thought to heart disease before the birth of my youngest son, even though my father had suffered a heart attack years before. "On December 30, 2010 the entire way I thought about many things" shifted. This was the day my son Silas was born, we completely...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Update on Kyler

    Kyler Nixon Iowa In February 2012, Kyler Nixon’s active life of sports was quickly put to a halt after an MRI showed abnormal thickness in the left ventricle of his heart. Kyler was tested for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is genetic so there are currently no medications or surgeries...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story:Daphne Steen

    Daphne Steen Kansas Raymond Bachman has served on the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors in Wichita, KS. He shares the story of his beautiful granddaughter, Daphne and her fight against heart disease. At just 10 days old, Daphne underwent open-heart surgery to fix a congenital...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Ellen Abramson

    Ellen Abramson Missouri On April 27th, 2013, I celebrated my fifth anniversary of surviving a cardiac arrest. Five years ago, my daughter and husband watched as I almost lost my life. The plans changed from a birthday celebration for my daughter to a horrific scene that she will never forget. I helplessly...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Lashonda Kennedy

    Lashonda Kennedy Iowa I was introduced to the American Heart Association by one of my friends, Terri, who is the Vice President of Government Relations for the Southwest Affiliate. I am so grateful to Terri for introducing me to both the American Heart Association and the world of Advocacy. It has...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Con Olson

    Con Olson Kansas I originally became involved with the American Heart Association through my career. As a paramedic, we recognized the American Heart Association as the gold standard for our CPR and ACLS courses. Over time, I have had the opportunity to provide training certifications, become a BLS...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: John Roeder

    John Roeder Missouri My involvement with the American Heart Association provided me the knowledge and education to recognize my own heart problems. In January of 2009 I completed the Disney World Marathon, which was my 7th in 7 years (not bad for a 55 year old). I have been a lifetime runner and...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Aaron Grefrath

    Aaron Grefrath Missouri My story begins in December 2008. I was 37 years old at the time. It was a normal December day as I was gearing up for Christmas Break at work. I was sitting at my desk performing normal day to day operations on my computer. I was feeling fine, the next thing I knew I woke...