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Take the 2015 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 here 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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Be a featured advocate!

Each month in our newsletter, we highlight one of our great American Heart Association volunteers or survivors.  We always need new stories to feature - can you help?

If you'd like to be featured in our monthly newsletter and on our website, please send an email to Jason.harder@heart.org and let me know!  You can check out what others have shared by visiting: http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/advocatestories.aspx

Want to help?  There are three things we need:


1.  The story.  We will have room for a short paragraph.  There is no story too small and everyone is welcome to submit their experience.  We want you to make your story grab the attention of people who come to the site.  Be passionate.  Explain how your experience has impacted your life and why you are committed to helping us advocate.

2. A picture.  Yes, we’ll need your best photo we can post so that everyone will see that there is a real person behind the story.

3. Your permission.  This is the boring part.  If you’d like to be featured on the website, I’ll send you a form that has to be filled out and returned.

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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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CPR in Schools update

Last month you received messages from us asking you to contact your lawmakers in support of CPR in Schools.  Here's an update on our progress so far.

Legislation has been introduced in both the State Senate and the House of Representatives.  In the Senate we'll be talking about Senate Bill 647.  This bill has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.  In the House, we've got House Bill 5160 which has been sent to the House Education Committee.

What's next?  Keep watching your email for news about our upcoming Day at the Capitol in support of this initiative - we'd love to have you join us in person to learn about the issue and talk with your lawmakers about the importance of CPR!  If you'd like to get involved with this campaign, feel free to email Jason.harder@heart.org anytime!

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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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CPR in Schools

Earlier this week we asked you to send a message to your lawmakers asking them to co-sponsor legislation that would ensure all students in Michigan are trained in hands-only CPR before they graduate from high school.  In the weeks to come, you'll hear more from us about this exiting initiative.  Check out  what we've got planned:

  • It's here: the CPR legislation!  This week you contacted your lawmakers asking for them to sign on co-sponsors. More info to come!

  • It's here: our CPR website!  This will be your go-to spot for facts, information and news.  Check it out at:  www.heart.org/CPRMichigan

  • Coming soon: a special CPR video project!  We'll be taping a PSA featuring Michiganders who have had firsthand experience with bystander CPR.

  • Coming soon: invitations for our CPR Lobby Day in Lansing!  We're still working out the details and will officially invite you soon. It will be your chance to come to the Capitol and advocate in person with other volunteers from across the state.

  • Coming soon: more calls to action!  There will be a lot of opportunities for you to get involved in this campaign. We'll need you to show your lawmakers how much you care about this issue via emails, phone calls, meetings, letters to the editor and on social media. 

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Share Your Story: Brad Dornbos

Brad Dornbos Michigan

My name is Brad Dornbos. I am a Firefighter and EMS Coordinator for the City of Wyoming Department of Public Safety.  I am an American Heart Association CPR Instructor and teach CPR/First Aid classes along with the use of AEDs for companies and schools on my days off.  Working for the City we see on a daily basis how important and vital it is to know CPR.  We are always happy when people call to set up a class and when we see bystanders performing CPR prior to our arrival. 

The value of CPR training cannot be expressed enough.  Actually being on scene and watching family, friends, and co-workers providing this lifesaving CPR is quite rewarding, along with the surreal anticipation of knowing that your CPR and AED could save that patient’s life.  Training is so simple, easy and quick.  We should be advocating the training in schools and workplaces more than we are now.

Recently I had the opportunity to teach for a local company in which we had several trainings that included CPR and AED training for the layperson rescuer.  This was an initial training class for new employees at this facility.  Staff was eager to learn and asked many good questions during this three-hour training.  I had classes scheduled during the week and also the following week.  Upon starting training the following week, I was asked if I had heard what had happened over the weekend at the local Wal-Mart involving one of the company’s employees that was in last week’s training class.  The staff told me that one person in class was able to do CPR and use an AED in a cardiac arrest event at the store.  This employee saved a customers life.  He was able to do what he was taught in training and use the AED before EMS arrival.  The employee was pretty shook up with what he had to do, but he did it, and that is the important part.

Just this one simple story of probably hundreds across the country just goes to prove that CPR does save lives.  This company that I had taught saw value in the training for their employees in the workplace and also as evident the impact it made outside the workplace as well.  So I implore you, each and every one of you who are reading this, find a CPR class, and take the training.  You never know when you might be on the receiving end of someone's lifesaving training.

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People Encouraged to Use CPR Mobile App to Save Lives

New American Heart Association CPR guidelines encourage people to use CPR mobile apps to save lives.  First and foremost, call 9-1-1 and set the phone on speaker to allow EMS dispatchers to provide instructions to bystanders on how to perform Hands-Only CPR.  Approximately 326,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital setting each year; and 90% of those patients die because bystanders don't know how to perform CPR. 

"To be in cardiac arrest is the most critically ill human condition," said Dr. Robert Neumar, chairman of the University of Michigan Health System's Department of Emergency Medicine and former chairman of the AHA's Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee.  "Every able-bodied should be able to respond to cardiac arrest by at least recognizing it, calling 911 and doing chest compressions. Read More

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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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