Stephanie L'Archuleta, California

This year I was pleased to join other AHA advocates across the U.S. and rally on the Capitol steps in support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  My trip to Washington DC was amazing! The weather was perfect (in the 70's) and Washington was beautiful. The event was very well organized and impressive. There were hundreds of NIH funding advocates there from a wide variety of organizations. It was such a great honor to go to our Senator's and Congress people's offices, sharing my mom's story.

I visited the offices of Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Michael Honda, Representative Sam Farr, and Representative Lois Capps. They seemed to enjoy seeing pictures of mom and I loved sharing them. They were all very interested in supporting NIH funding. It is such a privilege to advocate on a federal level. I met so many interesting people who were advocating with me and I learned a lot from them. I met a stroke survivor in her 30's who has her own stroke advocacy website, several research professors from UC Santa Cruz and UCSF, a hospital CEO, and many, many more. As a group, I really think that we impressed on our elected officials the great need we have for medical research funding and its broad impact. Without exception, all of the elected officials (or their representatives) expressed strong support of our cause.

Thank you, AHA for this incredibly amazing opportunity to serve!