American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
Take the You're the Cure Advocate Survey

2015 was a great year for You're the Cure advocates and the many policy efforts that you work on. We have big plans for 2016, and we want to hear from you and what you want to see in the future for You're the Cure.

So take the survey now and let your voice be heard.

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Reminder: send your message today!

Great news!  Last Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 61-36 to pass House Bill 1001.  As you may remember, this is the legislation that includes a $1 increase in Indiana’s cigarette tax.  Thank you to every advocate who attended our Day at the Statehouse last week, every advocate who submitted a Letter to the Editor, every advocate who called their lawmaker, and every advocate who has sent a message to lawmakers in support of this measure. 

You can still send your lawmaker a Thank You note for their vote!  Click here to join in:

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Share Your Story: Chris Fowler

Chris Fowler Michigan  

There are always days that stick out in a person’s mind. To some, it may a bad day at work, or your boss gets after you, the battery in your car dies, it could be anything from A to Z. My day that sticks out is October 9, 2012. On this day my whole life changed. I was at football practice running for conditioning. We were half way through running and that’s when I stopped remembering what was going on. When I woke up in the emergency room, I figured out what had happened. My coaches told me I went down on one knee, and then ended up on my back. The coaches rushed over to me to find that I was cold and lifeless, I had gone into Sudden Cardiac Arrest. My coaches started CPR on me with chest compressions. Someone went to the school to get the AED and my heart was defibrillated back into action. I spent a week in the hospital and at the end of my stay, I was given an IDC implanted in my chest. It’s been over three years and to this day I’ve never had any other issues. It is a story that ended up happy.

But my happy ending brings up a question? What about the not so happy endings? I follow the news and read the stories everyday about someone going into Sudden Cardiac Arrest and there are many stories with the “un-happy” ending. There are two reasons I’m here today writing a happy story, instead of a sad story. Just two reasons. The first, is that I had coaches who were prepared. They were CPR certified and when the time came to use their training, they were ready.

However, CPR was only a part of my resuscitation. Like I said earlier, an AED was needed to “restart” my heart. Since my incident, I have been trying to share my story to as many people as possible. I have talked on the news and to newspapers trying to spread the fact that I was saved by an AED that my school was equipped with. The reason I have been trying to share that my high school had the AED is because it is estimated that 16,000 American children suffer a cardiac arrest each year. Children spend up to a third of their day in a classroom and if an event such as a sudden cardiac arrest happens at school, they should feel safe knowing that the school is prepared.

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Join us on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 5

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women are asking for your support by participating in National Wear Red Day® on Friday, February 5, 2016 and donating to help fund research during American Health Month.

Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. That’s why this year we are asking that you wear red on National Wear Red Day® and donate to Go Red For Woman. By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health. 

And don’t forget to make your heart health a priority. Schedule your Well-Woman Visit, a prevention check-up to review a woman’s overall health so her doctor can measure blood pressure, check cholesterol and look for signs of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses. Then encourage others through your social channels to do the same.

We couldn’t make positive changes without the support and donations by individuals like you.

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RSVP to join us at the Statehouse!

February is American Heart Month and it will be here before you know it!  You're invited to help the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology kick off the month by joining us in Indianapolis for a free advocacy event at the Statehouse on February 2nd. 
Click here to register for our annual Day at the Statehouse:
We've got a lot of issues we're working with legislators on this year.  Important pieces of legislation about access to healthy food, stroke systems of care, and increasing Indiana's tobacco tax to name a few.  But in order to really make an impact, we need you to talk to your lawmakers about them too!
On February 2nd, we'll be meeting at the Indiana State Library across from the Statehouse.  Doors open that morning at 9:00 am and advocates can arrive any time between then and 10:00 am.  Our training session begins at 10:00 am sharp.  We'll discuss each issue, have a question & answer session and discuss the best ways to talk about the topics with your lawmakers.  At 11:15 am we will depart for the Statehouse, where at 11:30 am there will be a stage presentation, a healthy lunch and time to connect with your lawmakers to advocate for the important legislation they are considering.

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Check out this article about Northwest Indiana residents access to health foods, featuring Danielle Patterson, Government Relations Director with the American Heart Association

 Less than three miles from Gary is what Chickita Merriweather would describe as a food haven. But getting there is no small feat.

The mother of seven embarks on an hour long journey every two weeks, which includes a seven-block walk on sometimes inaccessible streets to get to the nearest bus stop. The long bus ride takes her to the closet grocery stores in another community – Merrillville.

“Buses don’t run very often. Some come every hour, and if you miss one you have to wait another hour. It’s a really frustrating experience just to find food,” said Merriweather.

The Times recently highlighted an Associated Press investigation that revealed large food retailers opened 36 new supermarkets across Indiana in the last four years, yet only three were in areas that have limited access to fresh meat and produce.

To read more of this story   click here.

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Get Social With Your Members of Congress

Will you be on Facebook or Twitter today? Your Members of Congress and their staff will be, and it's a good place to reach them according to a report released in October by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).

The CMF report, #SocialCongress, says Congressional offices are listening to social media chatter and it takes relatively few posts or comments to get their attention. That's good news for us!

So, how can you use the Facebook newsfeed or Twitter timeline to get the attention of lawmakers and help pass heart healthy policies?

  • Follow your members of Congress, as well as state and local elected officials on Twitter. ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ their pages on Facebook.
  • Tweet about our health policy issues, tagging the appropriate legislators by using the @ sign and their Twitter handle. For example: I’m from Pennsylvania, so I’d tag my U.S. Senators by including @SenBobCasey & @SenToomey in my tweet.
  • If they allow it, you can post about our issues directly on the Facebook pages of elected officials. Frequently, that feature is disabled but you are able to comment on their posts. According to #SocialCongress, Congressional offices typically monitor those comments for a limited period of time. Your best bet is to comment within the first 24 hours after a post.
  • Rally your friends and family members to tweet, post or comment about an issue on a single ‘day of action’. CMF’s survey data shows just 30 or fewer comments can be enough to make a legislative office pay attention.
  • Be sure to use the campaign hashtag if one has been created by your advocacy staff partners. The #hashtag allows all the relevant posts to be woven together to tell our story, and makes your post searchable by others interested in the issue.    

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We're Feeling Grateful

As AHA Advocacy staff, we get to work alongside the most remarkable volunteers- like YOU! We get to see lives improved and lives saved as a result of the work we’ve done together, and for that, we're grateful.

As You’re the Cure volunteers, you share personal stories of loved ones lost too soon, of survival, or of triumph over heart disease or stroke- all because you know your stories will make a difference in someone else’s life. It is often those stories that convince lawmakers to pass the policies making our communities healthier.

Because of you, more babies are being screened with Pulse Ox and having their heart defects corrected before it’s too late. Because of you, people in communities around the country have been saved by students who learned CPR in school. Because of you, people are getting better stroke care, families have safe places for active play, fewer people are smoking, and kids are eating healthier food at school.  The impact you’re making is incredible, and our communities are better places- because of you.

You make us cry. You share your joy. You inspire us. You amaze us. And we’re just so grateful for all you do.

We’re including YOU as we count our blessings this month, and we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!   

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Did you know: Congestive Heart Failure

Did you know: the number of Americans diagnosed with heart failure is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent during the next 15 years and the costs of managing the illness will almost double, according to a new report from the American Heart Association released last Tuesday.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It’s one of the most common heart diseases in the U.S., with more than 870,000 new cases reported annually. There are ways to manage and treat heart failure, but about half of all people die within five years of being diagnosed.

To learn more about CHF, click here.

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Sing to End Stroke

One in three Americans can’t recall any stroke warning signs. What if singing a song could help people recognize a stroke and give someone the power to save a life?

On World Stroke Day, October 29th, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is using music to help people remember the common warning signs of stroke, F.A.S.T. (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1).

Why learn the F.A.S.T song? The quicker you recognize the stroke warning signs and call 9-1-1 for stroke, the better the chances of recovery. 

Here is how you can participate:

So get your vocal cords ready and let's sing to end stroke!


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