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  • Blog Post: Dana Powell

    Dana Powell, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate On January 1, 2012, our family began the year with the birth of our second son, Asa Heard Karchmer. Like all babies, Asa delivered love and wonder into our lives. But those dreams were abruptly shattered on day two of Asa’s life. We came home from Watauga...
  • Blog Post: Lori Valencia Greene

    Lori Valencia Greene, Maryland Lori Valencia Greene is a woman of many hats: mother, daughter, friend, student, and an advocate for change in her community. She was surprised at the young age of 47 to also find herself a stroke survivor! Lori has always had a desire to make a difference. Because...
  • Blog Post: Michele Coleman

    Michele Coleman, District of Columbia “This is not supposed to happen,” uttered Michele Coleman, remembering vividly the moment that cardiologists told her that her newborn baby was being rushed into open-heart surgery at seven days old. Little Dylan is Michele’s youngest of two...
  • Blog Post: Yolanda Dickerson

    Yolanda Dickerson, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate I am the product of my village. When I received the AHA Survivor Advocate of the Year award in DC two years ago, I knew it was really not about me. The award is a culmination of those who invested in me and what I’ve learned up to this point. For more...
  • Blog Post: Ginnie Gick

    Ginnie Gick, Maryland May 20, 2010, started out like many mornings in Ginnie Gick’s household. Ginnie was making breakfast for her three kids. Her husband Dan, who happened to be running late that morning, was gathering his things and getting ready to leave for work. That morning changed...
  • Blog Post: Leonard Edloe, Jr, PharmD

    Leonard Edloe Jr, PharmD, Virginia Dr. Leonard Edloe is a staunch supporter for the profession of pharmacy in numerous areas of public policy. The drive to help others led him to many worthwhile pursuits, including active advocacy with You’re the Cure . A retired pharmacist now, Dr. Edloe...
  • Blog Post: Dr. Amie Hsia

    Dr. Amie Hsia, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate How do you build a passion for stroke? Dr. Amie Hsia is absolutely driven to reduce the gap in knowledge about stroke awareness. As a stroke fellow at Stanford University, Hsia was asked to work on stroke issues in the community. She was staggered by the lack...
  • Blog Post: Juddson Rupp

    Juddson Rupp, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate I didn’t remember anything from my week in the hospital, but when a friend brought in a copy of the six o’clock news from October 27, 2000 I quickly realized that either that was a slow news day or that I was one lucky miracle survivor with an important...
  • Blog Post: Diana Cook, North Carolina

    Diana Cook, North Carolina As a veteran volunteer with the American Heart Association, Diana Cook has been involved in a myriad of ways with the organization over the years. As a Charlotte Heart Walk team leader, she led her work team several years in a row – and every year provided countless...
  • Blog Post: Gail Mates

    Gail Mates, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate I spent most of my life watching heart disease strike family members. Both grandfathers died of heart attacks, my father suffered from several and even my mother had an enlarged heart and hypertension that made her susceptible. When my father had a stroke, I witnessed...
  • Blog Post: Dr.Bob Blackburn, North Carolina

    Dr. Bob Blackburn, North Carolina Dr. Blackburn started his career as a volunteer with the American Heart Association in 1973. In a nutshell, why did he get involved? He was working with students and saw the impact tobacco was taking on their lives. The tremendous need for our youth to have better...
  • Blog Post: Shobha Ghosh

    Shobha Ghosh, Virginia Watching my mother and my older sister suffer with heart disease encouraged me as a second grader to become a cardiologist. But after losing both of them in a span of just 10 days as an 11 year-old, my focus changed. I decided instead to become a biomedical researcher with the...
  • Blog Post: Kendra Meiklejohn

    Kendra Meiklejohn, Mid-Atlantic My husband and I were so excited at the ultrasound to find out the sex of our second child. We had our son with us. We were joking and talking with the tech. She suddenly grew quiet. When the doctor came in and viewed the ultrasound, he was also very quiet. It didn’t...
  • Blog Post: Paul Kearns

    Paul Kearns, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Over twenty five years ago, I was working as a boat captain on the Long Island Sound. It was a beautiful summer day around dusk when someone collapsed near me on the dock I was operating. This man was turning blue, and after being frozen with fear I did the only...
  • Blog Post: Neha Aggarwal

    Neha Aggarwal, District of Columbia One day while he was walking through the park, Neha Aggarwal’s maternal grandfather suddenly fell to the ground—he had unexpectedly suffered a stroke. Before the stroke, her grandfather had been very active mentally, physically, socially, and professionally...
  • Blog Post: Richard Benson

    Richard Benson, MD/PhD, District of Columbia “I’m looking at the man in the mirror.” When it comes to preventing heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #4 most common causes of death in the US, respectively, I think of those famous and poignant words by the late great Michael Jackson...
  • Blog Post: Joye Mullis

    Joye Mullis, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate As with all children, my son’s story began well before his birth. I had a fairly easy pregnancy, tainted by a couple of scares early on, but then all appeared well at my 20-week ultrasound. I was healthy. Baby was healthy. Life was good. At 28 weeks...
  • Blog Post: Anne Efron

    Anne Efron, Maryland Following a long day at work Anne Efron and her husband Dave were getting set to grill for dinner. After making a quick trip to the store Dave returned to find Anne unconscious and without a pulse, in full cardiac arrest. She had a history of what had been diagnosed as benign...
  • Blog Post: Colleen Dudley

    Superwoman’s real name is Colleen Dudley. Colleen is a very busy women, but she still finds a way to be active in her DC community, whether it’s at a hospital, as an AHA You’re the Cure Advocate , or as a volunteer. Colleen received her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Cleveland...
  • Blog Post: Mary Kay Ballasiotes

    Mary Kay Ballasiotes, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Mary Kay Ballasiotes has been advocating for children for over 15 years. Her daughter, Michelle had a stroke before she was born and that moment changed both of their lives forever. Mary Kay’s advocacy days started in 2002 in Chicago where she founded...
  • Blog Post: Sara Beckwith

    Sara Beckwith, District of Columbia Why is advocacy work so important? To Sara Beckwith it is about passion, and because she “truly believes that we have a voice and it is imperative to use our voice to work on programs such as the Healthy Tots Act and the Workplace Wellness Act.” Sara...
  • Blog Post: Amy Edmunds

    Amy Edmunds, South Carolina Opening doors has been the most rewarding aspect of my volunteer experience. Since experiencing ischemic stroke in 2002, I have been an actively engaged volunteer throughout the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate. Undoubtedly, the first door to open was my own! It has been an amazing...
  • Blog Post: Jennifer & Joel Griffin

    Jennifer & Joel Griffin, Virginia On June 8, 2012, Gwyneth Griffin, a 7th grader at A. G. Wright Middle School, collapsed in cardiac arrest. Several critical minutes passed before her father, Joel, reached her. CPR had not been initiated. “ There was no one else taking care of my daughter...
  • Blog Post: Debra Wells

    Debra Wells, District of Columbia Don’t ever let yourself wind up like Debra Wells. Doctors confirm her heart stopped for almost 20 seconds. Today she’s alive to tell about it, and it was a rough road. Before her heart problems, Debra was a successful business woman, working as Vice...
  • Blog Post: Jodi Lemacks

    Jodi Lemacks, Virginia In June of 2003, my third child, Joshua, was born via c-section. Diagnosed with a Critical Congenital Birth Defect (CCHD) before birth, he was immediately whisked away to the hospital next door for his first of three open heart surgeries, without me even getting a glimpse of...