American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
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!   

Read More

Share Your Story: Cameron Price

Cameron Price Iowa

Cameron from Fort Dodge, IA just turned 10 on September 2nd and has already gone through 4 open heart surgeries during his life, with the most recent being in 2010. He had his first open heart surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics just 4 days after he was born in Fort Dodge. 

Cameron was born with a congenital heart defect called 
tricuspid atresia & pulmonary atresia, which means that he was born without one of the necessary valves in his heart. 

Then in 2008 it was confirmed with a CT scan that Cameron had suffered an 
ischemia stroke which affected the left side of his body. Despite all that he has been through, Cameron is doing great & doesn't let much keep him back according to his dad. 

Cameron Is Why the American Heart Association is working hard to fight heart disease and stroke every single day!

Read More

Share Your Story-Owen Hunt

Owen Hunt Iowa

Owen Hunt is a character-he has a certain charisma about him of someone much older.  He is an inspiring 4 year old boy who loves to talk and tell stories, play with Legos, puzzles, his dog and, on occasion, his sister. On the outside, Owen is a very normal little boy, but on the inside he is battling heart defects and autoimmune disorders.

A few weeks after Owen was born his parents began to notice that something was wrong because he was having a lot of trouble eating and breathing. At two months old, doctors found that his aorta arched to the right instead of the left as it should and had fused with another blood vessel creating a vascular ring which was pinching his esophagus and trachea shut. To help fix this problem, Owen was operated on when he was 3 months old.

At 15 months old he had another surgery to repair another defect in his aorta called a diverticulum, which is like a "bulge" or pocket. In his short four years he has also been diagnosed with having a VSD (a tiny hole in his heart), BAV (two aortic valves instead of three), GERD/reflux, tracheomalacia (weakness in part of his trachea), structural abnormalities of his lungs, chronic bronchitis, severe eating delays, Esinophillic Esophagitis (an autoimmune reaction to food proteins), and an autoimmune disorder called PANDAS (brain inflammation caused by the body's reaction to strep virus).

Despite all of this, he is an adorable entertainer with so much enthusiasm and creativity!

Read More

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!


Read More

Share Your Story: Dr. Benjamin Reinking

Dr. Benjamin Reinking Iowa

As a Pediatric Cardiologist, I choose to be involved with the American Heart Association for one simple reason: Heart disease and stroke are preventable. Think about that. The leading cause of death and disability in the United States is preventable. Even more amazing is that most of the solutions are simple: eat a healthy diet, stay active, and don’t smoke. Working with the American Heart Association to help spread this message and create heart healthy communities and schools is an easy way for me to make a difference.

Every day I have the privilege of working with children who are born with congenital heart disease. These "heart warriors" and their families bravely battle a life threatening birth defect. They come to their clinic visits, take medications, and undergo surgeries all to help correct a heart that didn’t form correctly. Throughout this ordeal, the most common question parents ask me is "Why did this happen?" Unfortunately, in most cases, we still don’t know the cause of congenital heart disease. By working with the American Heart Association, I hope to be able to raise awareness about congenital heart disease and advocate for research dollars. I’m confident that someday we will discover the cause of congenital heart disease and will be able to prevent it.

Read More

You're Invited - Safe Routes to School Twitter Party!

Join us for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Twitter Party!

Have questions about #SRTS? We have answers! Please join us for a Twitter Party where we’ll discuss Safe Routes to School efforts and how it relates to the health of Iowans. Show your support, get your questions answered and learn how you can take action.

When: Tuesday, October 6th, 10am-11am
Party Hosts to Follow: @AHAIowa
Hashtag: #SRTS and #IALeg
Giveaway! Everyone who Tweets using the party hashtags will be entered to win a really cool bicycle themed gift basket

You’ve been invited to a Twitter Party – Now What? So, you've been invited to a Twitter Party, now you'd like to know how to participate, right?  This is a short guide explaining all about Twitter Parties – how to sign up, how to participate, and how to win!

What is a Twitter Party? A Twitter Party is a fun, fast paced conversation held on the social platform, Twitter. Most parties usually revolve around one topic and the Party Host initiates chat between participants by using a specific Twitter Party hashtag.

How Do I Participate in a Twitter Party? Anyone can participate! The only things you'll need is a Twitter account, follow the Party Host, know the Twitter Party hashtags, and send a tweet or two during the party!  When you tweet, be sure to use the hashtags from the party so that all party-goers can see your tweets and you'll be entered to win a giveaway prize!

Tip! Some Twitter Party enthusiasts find using Tweetdeck makes it easier to follow a fast paced party.
Tweet this: Show your support for Safe Routes to School by joining a Twitter Party! Join in the #SRTS conversation Oct. 6 from 10-11am with @AHAIowa

See you on Twitter!

Read More

Step it Up! The Surgeon General Advocates the Benefits of Walkable Communities

We applaud the United States Surgeon General for recently issuing a call to action to address major public health challenges such as heart disease and diabetes. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities articulates the health benefits of walking while addressing the fact that many communities unacceptably lack safe and convenient places for individuals to walk or wheelchair roll.

Data consistently show there are safety and accessibility issues that make communities less walkable. A 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, found that three out of every 10 Americans reported that no sidewalks existed along any streets in their neighborhood. In many communities violence – and the perception of violence – may prove a barrier to walking. 

“Everyone deserves to have a safe place to walk or wheelchair roll. But in too many of our communities, that is not the reality,” said Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General. “We know that an active lifestyle is critical to achieving good overall health. And walking is a simple, effective and affordable way to build physical activity into our lives. That is why we need to step it up as a country ensuring that everyone can choose to walk in their own communities.”

The Surgeon General calls on community planners and local leaders to create more areas for walking and wheelchair rolling and to prioritize the development of safe routes for children to get to and from schools. The call to action suggests that these designs should include sidewalks, curb cuts, crosswalks, safe crossings for the visually impaired and more green spaces. The Surgeon General further calls on city managers, law enforcement and community and public health leaders to address safety concerns by better maintaining public spaces, working with residents to promote a shared sense of community ownership, ensuring proper street lighting and fostering neighborhood watch programs.

The Surgeon General’s report discusses the health benefits of walking and calls on individuals to make walking a priority in their lives. Fewer than half of all U.S. adults get enough physical activity to reduce their risk of chronic disease, and only a quarter of high school students get the recommended amount. Physical inactivity contributes to heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer, which account for 86% of our nation’s health care costs. Building walking into daily life can reduce disease and save money.

“We know that an average of 22 minutes a day of physical activity – such as brisk walking – can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes,” added Dr. Murthy. “The key is to get started because even a small first effort can make a big difference in improving the personal health of an individual and the public health of the nation.”

At the AHA, we applaud the efforts of communities across our state for their efforts to improve the walkability and rollability of their streets and sidewalks.  We stand ready to partner with other communities to improve opportunities to be active by walking, rolling, biking and other physical activities. 

To read the Surgeon General’s Call to Action and learn how to promote walking and walkable communities, please visit

Read More

Share Your Story - Iowa


For most kids, August marks the end of summer and their return back to school. How do your kids get to and from school? Are they walkers, car riders or do they take the bus?

The American Heart Association is partnering with the Healthier Iowa Coalition to create safe and healthy communities for all families in Iowa. Through Safe Routes to Schools, we can make great strides in reducing local obesity rates and improving every citizen’s quality of life. We would love to hear about your child’s experiences, barriers and obstacles they encounter everyday getting to and from school. Please Share Your Story with us.

Currently, the Healthier Iowa Coalition is working on a Safe Routes to School initiative, which will provide needed funding for projects that will encourage our children to walk to school. The Healthier Iowa Coalition is dedicated to ensuring safe routes to school. As a federally-funded program, Safe Routes to Schools provides the financial resources to repair sidewalks, hire crossing guards, and remove the barriers that discourage parents from allowing their children to be active in the community. For more information, please visit The Healthier Iowa Coalition website.

Read More

A Safe Path Back to School: Safe Routes to School 101

Kids are more sedentary today than they were a generation ago. This is contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic, but in many cases it is due to the environment that surrounds them. Building Safe Routes to School (SRTS) brings street-scale improvements to neighborhoods so that children have greater opportunities to be active—and parents can rest easy that their child is out of harm’s way when heading to school. These routes also provide a fun and convenient way for families, neighbors and friends to connect while being active.


TAKE ACTION – Encourage your lawmakers to give our kids the green light on health by supporting funding for the Safe Routes to School programs

The federal SRTS program, established in 2005, provides funding for communities to implement these types of projects. However, recent changes have cut federal funding to the program, meaning states must now play a bigger role in supporting Safe Routes to School initiatives.

Let your lawmaker know that increasing state-level funding is key to supporting these kinds of improvements. It will enable communities to implement healthy changes to their environments and eliminate common barriers to physical activity for children.

For more information on how you can help our kids get active and help reverse dangerous obesity rates visit:



Read More

Volunteer Opportunities Near You!

LIFE is why our Iowa You’re the Cure advocates give their time and talent to help build a healthier world, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. We exercise our voices and work together to advocate for heart-healthy and stroke-smart communities through legislative policies in our cities, states and across the country. 

Have you ever wondered how you can help in your local community? Whatever your interests and availability, we can find a flexible, rewarding volunteer opportunity that’s right for you! 

Heart Walk

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 5 killers - heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that's fun and rewarding for the entire family. Your participation will help us raise even more in our fight to save lives. Walk with fellow You’re the Cure advocates, friends, family, coworkers or strangers you'll bond with along the way. Any way you choose to do it, your heart will thank you for it!

Start a team by reaching out to your Heart Walk Director today!

  • Dubuque Heart Walk - Saturday, May 7, 2016 - send an email to Cathy Brandt
  • Iowa City Heart Walk - Saturday, May 7, 2016 - send an email to Michelle Catlett 
  • Cedar Valley Heart Walk - Saturday, May 21, 2016 - send an email to Cathy Brandt
  • Quad Cities Heart Walk - Saturday, May 21, 2016 - send an email to Alex Sheffler
  • Des Moines Heart Walk - Summer of 2016 - send an email to Kim Olmstead
  • Cedar Rapids Heart Walk – Summer of 2016 - send an email to Michelle Catlett   


Heart Ball/Gala

Premier society events, the Heart Ball is a celebration of the life-saving work of the American Heart Association. The event brings together the area’s most prominent medical, corporate and community leaders. Last year, the Heart Balls and Gala raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in Iowa to support our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

  • Cedar Rapids “Hearti Gras” Heart Ball - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - send an email to Aileen Black
  • Des Moines Heart Ball – Saturday, February 27, 2016 - send an email to Kimberly Hanken
  • Quad Cities Heart Ball - Saturday, April 16, 2016 - send an email to Michelle Gitzen
  • Iowa City Heart of Gold Gala - Friday, April 22, 2016 - send an email to Jamie Jensen


Go Red For Women Luncheon

Lunch and Learn!  Go Red For Women Luncheons are wonderful social events where women dedicated to making an impact in their community come together to raise awareness, educate and fundraise. Contact your local office to find out how you can participate.

  • Des Moines Go Red For Dinner- Thursday, September 17, 2015 - send an email to Juliette Olejnik
  • Quad Cities Go Red for Women - Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - send an email to Michelle Gitzen
  • Cedar Valley Go Red for Women - Friday, November 6, 2015 - send an email to Cathy Brandt
  • Iowa City Go Red for Women - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - send an email to Jamie Jensen
  • Cedar Rapids Go Red for Women - Friday, November 20, 2015 - send an email to Aileen Black
  • Ames Go Red For Women – Friday, April 22, 2016 – send an email to Juliette Olejnik

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse