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  • Blog Post: Norman is Why!

    Meet Norman Petrik, one of AHA's top volunteers! _________________________________________________ What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association? I have always been an advocate for lobbying, and after my heart surgery, that became important oo. What issues or...
  • Blog Post: Trenton Fryman, Kentucky

    Trenton Fryman Kentucky For more than a year, North Oldham High School Class of 2016 senior, Trenton Fryman, has been an outspoken advocate for training students in CPR. Thanks in part to his dedication, this past March, Kentucky became the 29th state to pass legislation that will ensure all students...
  • Blog Post: Hailey Auster, New York

    Hi, my name is Hailey Auster and in September I will be in 6 th grade at Van Antwerp Middle School in Niskayuna, NY. I believe the quest for health in New York State is very important and on July 5th, I testified before the Schenectady County Legislature to support increasing the tobacco purchase...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Lexie Amerin

    Lexie Amerin Kansas My name is Lexie Amerin and I am a 17 year old senior at Southwestern Heights High School. My heart problems occurred while I was in my mother’s womb but weren’t realized until after I was born. I cried once but then I stopped breathing and they had to resuscitate...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Highlight - Eric Rothenberg

    We are so excited to share with you the news that Washington advocate/volunteer Eric Rothenberg was the recipient of this year’s American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Volunteer Advocacy Award. The award was presented at the AHA’s annual volunteer awards dinner in Los Angeles...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Bill O'Neal

    Bill O'Neal Missouri Bill O'Neal's heart stopped while he was giving 40 students an ACT test. "I always think it’s a bit ironic that I taught for two years at the Collegiate School for Medicine and Bioscience and I gave the kids some hands on experience," O'Neal said...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Hayden Grimm

    Hayden Grimm Iowa Hayden was born January 21, 2011, and at the time his parents had no idea anything was wrong with him. Twelve hours after he was born though, he was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He was diagnosed with Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. Hayden had his first...
  • Blog Post: Gail Harris-Berry

    No one in Prince George’s County is more passionate about heart health than Gail Harris-Berry. Since becoming a You’re the Cure advocate in 2012, Gail has worked hard to keep her friends, family, and community informed on how to live a heart healthy life. Gail has been an active Prince...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Alanna Lee

    Alanna Lee - Michigan For eight years, I struggled to get a diagnosis for my heart condition. It started when I was 16. I was young, healthy, and active. When I started having heart palpitations and chest pains, I had no idea why. When you are 16, your peers and teachers aren't talking about heart...
  • Blog Post: Braelynn Neely, West Virginia

    Braelynn Neely West Virginia Bra elynn Neely is a 2016 graduate of Clay-Battelle High School in Blacksville, WV, and a congenital heart defect survivor. This passionate young woman shares her story of open-heart surgery at just 14-months-old to raise awareness that heart disease can affect anyone...
  • Blog Post: Neha Aggarwal

    Neha Aggarwal, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate 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: Health is Why!

    Meet Elaine Larson, Minnesota's Youth Market Admin and top staff volunteer! ________________________________________________________________________________ What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association? You can stand behind the things that the American...
  • Blog Post: Shantha Diaz, Rhode Island

    I lost both my parents to heart attacks. They were in their 70’s and I thought it was the norm. 5 years ago I lost my brother to a heart attack. He was only 56 years old. This was my wake up call. Based on my family history my doctor ran some tests. The result was not pretty. The results indicated...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Michelle Nielson

    Michelle Nielson Nebraska Meet Michelle Nielson! Michelle is the new Senior Community Health Director out of the Omaha office. Michelle returns to the AHA after serving as the Director of State Health Alliances for AHA from 2008 to 2009. Michelle brings an enthusiastic attitude and says she is looking...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: PJ Jones

    What is your why? Education What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association? I am currently a member of The Multiculture Committee and I wanted to branch out with AHA and see what other volunteer opportunities were out there. So here I am and it is very educational as far...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story - Rick Worrel

    Rick Worrel Kansas It was a cool, spring morning in May when thousands gathered to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for a 5K run through Theis Park. "I wanted to beat my time, so I had been training on my own," Rick Worrel said. The year before, Worrel had some heart issues...
  • Blog Post: Tatum Weishaupt, New York State

    My name is Tatum Weishaupt and I joined the AHA in April 2016 as the Mission Lifeline Director of the Capital Region of New York State. Before I tell you about myself, let me share a little bit about Mission Lifeline. The American Heart Association developed Mission: Lifeline to transform heart attack...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story - Javan Cruz

    Javan Cruz Missouri Just 5 percent is the chance of survival when a child suffers sudden cardiac arrest away from a hospital. Javan Cruz is among that small percentage. Back in April, Javan suffered a total of seven sudden cardiac arrests while in his 7th grade classroom. Thanks to quick action taken...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story - Jackie Blake

    Jackie Blake Iowa One word…TERRIFYING. That is how Ross Blake describes the events on July 20, 2009. He, along with his wife Jackie and their young daughter Madelyn, had just embarked on a road trip to see his sister in Eastern Iowa when Jackie started to complain that she could not see while...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Rae O'Leary

    Rae O'Leary South Dakota Rae O'Leary is a advocate for public health and led the Canli Coalition to pass a tribal ordinance to protect the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe from the dangers of secondhand smoke by making all enclosed places smoke-free. Rae also joined our state-wide advocacy committee...
  • Blog Post: Erin E. Herring, CT

    November 18, 1998 was the day Erin E. Herring started on her journey into the world of physicians, hospitals and fear; that was the day her son Gavin was born. He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis and would have to have surgery before is two week birthday. And so it began… After a year and...
  • Blog Post: Katie Towle - Supporting Families and Pushing for Critical Heart Tests for Kids

    Katie Towle knows there are two things that can help a child when they are born with a heart defect – a life-saving test that can help detect it, and the support of other families with children who also have heart defects. Katie helped promote the need for mandatory pulse oximetry testing for...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Cindy Peterman

    After 35 years of smoking, bouts with bronchitis and increasing prices, Cindy Peterman decided it was time to quit and she credits the recent price increase for tobacco products in Nevada with helping her. “Last year on July 4 th weekend when I went to buy cigarettes I realized with the increase...
  • Blog Post: Meet our Volunteer of the Month: Silvia Gutierrez-Reghunath

    Volunteers are the lifeblood of the American Heart Association. We are constantly amazed by our volunteers' commitment to advocate for healthier lives and to help save lives through policy change. We are pleased to spotlight Silvia Gutierrez-Raghunath as this month's volunteer extraordinaire...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Angie Jorgensen

    Angie Jorgensen Nebraska My wonderful husband, Jon and I together have 4 great children—Alexis, now 21; Garrett, 19; Josh, 15 and Justin 12. Our daughter is working and planning for more school. All 3 boys are currently playing football, and we are going to be cheering at lots of games this...