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Will you help influence scientific research?

We need to hear from consumers like you as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) partner together on the future of research. Your experience could lead to the next research study to improve heart disease and stroke treatment.

As an advocate we’ve asked you to speak out for increased funding for medical research and you’ve answered by contacting lawmakers and sharing your personal stories as survivors, caregivers, and loved ones touched by heart and stroke disease. Now we invite you to share your experience, the decisions made in determining your or your loved one’s treatment plans and the factors that influenced those decisions. If we better understand your experience it can help guide the research that will lead to better care tailored to the specific needs of patients.

If you’ve had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, or you know a loved one who has, your unique understanding could help guide research to solve un-met care challenges faced by individuals like you and improve heart and stroke treatment.

Here are the details:

  • We are focused on un-met challenges faced by patients and caregivers like you. 
  • To join this challenge, you’ll be asked to provide a written submission of your first-hand experience after a heart disease or stroke event.
  • The story and description of the concerns you faced and the decisions you made should be personal and not a general case.
  • A team of scientific professionals and patient representatives with expertise in heart disease and stroke will review your story. Learning more about issues and concerns important to your decision-making can help them improve experiences and outcomes for patients in the future.
  • If your submission is chosen, you could win $1,000 and possibly help shape the future of cardiovascular research.
  • All submissions must be received by June 8, 2016.

Please take this important challenge and share your insights. Your story matters. Take the challenge today!

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Serving up anything but science

We’ve written before about the record number of students participating in the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs, and about the laudable compromise reached by the Senate earlier this year that would keep nutrition standards strong so our kids can keep getting the healthy meals they need.

Unfortunately, there are some House members who clearly haven’t gotten the message. The bill they recently introduced would halt the progress made by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (with which 98.5% of schools nationwide are now in compliance). Worse, it takes what has long been a bipartisan issue – ensuring students are served nutritious meals that allow them to excel in the classroom – and instead puts ideology over our kids’ health.

If passed into law, the bill would dismantle nutrition standards for school fundraisers, reverse the progress we’ve made on sodium requirements, and give no direction to schools on how best to teach our kids about the importance of healthy eating. We can’t go back: please tell your representative to reject the House bill and give our kids the healthy futures they deserve.

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5 Things That Can Make You a Stroke Hero

You don’t need superpowers to be a Stroke Hero!

But you do need to pay attention to the risk factors and know the warning signs of stroke.

This May for American Stroke Month, join other Stroke Heroes across the nation in learning and sharing steps to live heathier lives in an effort to prevent stroke and learn what to do in case of a stroke emergency.

Here are a few ways for you to take action and to help put an end to Stroke.

To learn more ways on how you can be a Stroke Hero, visit StrokeAssociation.org/StrokeHero.

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Share Your Story: Brian Donaldson and his friend Price

Brian Donaldson and his friend Price Missouri

As I close my eyes every night, I am thankful that my family had a great day, filled with health and happiness.

In January of this year my 51 year old business partner, mentor and friend, Price, had a massive stroke. He was in much better health than most of us and even ran the Boston Marathon last year.

Price was rushed to the hospital on a Sunday morning and because there was no way to know when his stroke occurred the "wonder drug" was not an available option. He would have to rely on his own body to deal with the stroke. Price's family and friends were given the news some days later that he was paralyzed on the left side and would likely not walk again.

Fast forward 9 months, Price is walking with a cane and last week passed his driver's test and has some of his freedoms back. The doctors believe that his strong recovery is due to his lifelong focus on his own health. I am proud to be a part of the Executive Leadership Team for the 2016 Metro St. Louis Heart Walk and champion Edward Jones' Heart Walk team this year. See more about the upcoming St. Louis Heart Walk.

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Share Your Story: Chase Maltbie

Chase Maltbie Kansas

Lansing Elementary School students are jumping for joy over their big donation to the Kansas City American Heart Association. Students raised $13,000 this year thanks to their hard work and the inspiring stories of their gym teacher, Lee Matzeder, and a 6-year-old student, Chase Maltbie.

Matzeder had a heart attack on November 3 at the Royals victory parade. "It felt like someone was sitting on my chest; I could hardly breathe," said Matzeder. His wife, Tina, rushed him to the emergency room at the University of Kansas Hospital, where doctors said he needed triple bypass surgery.

Two months after surgery, Matzeder returned to teach at Lansing Elementary. He was there when students participated in this year's Jump Rope for Heart event benefiting the American Heart Association. First Grader Chase Maltbie had the most donations - a whopping $1,800 in pledges. Chase's dad, Lt. Col. Richard Maltbie, died of a heart attack last October. He was only 39 years old. Chase said he wanted to jump to honor his dad and make a difference.  "To help people with sick hearts so I can donate money to other doctors to help other doctors learn how to take care of sick hearts," said Chase.

The 6-year-old also had advice for other children dealing with a parent's death.  "It's hard to have it; but I hope you can get through it," Chase explained.  Matzeder knows how Chase feels because the gym teacher was also six years old when his father died of a heart attack. Now Matzeder tells everyone he knows to get their heart checked at least once a year.  "I just never thought it would happen to me," said Matzeder. 

Many of the students who participated in the Jump Rope Event said they were jumping to honor their teacher. See the full story here.

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Share Your Story: Katelyn Larson

Katelyn Larson Iowa

Katelyn Larson was born a beautiful and healthy baby but suddenly at 3 months old, she became very sick. That night she would not eat, started choking, her lips turned blue and she became lethargic.

Her parents raced her to the closest ER in Ida Grove, IA where an X-Ray showed an enlargement in her heart. Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha was contacted and they sent their own ambulance to transport her to Omaha. More tests were run and her breathing and condition rapidly grew worse. She was rushed into the PICU and was hooked up to life support, and unfortunately she stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated.

That morning her parents were told that her left heart chamber was enlarged to twice its normal size and that she would most likely need a heart transplant! She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, caused by a genetic marker and a virus that went to her heart. She was placed on the heart transplant list and waited 28 days for her new gift of a healthy heart. She was released to go home and reunite with her two older brothers after being away for almost 3 months.

Today, Katelyn has passed all of her growth markers and is an active and vibrant 2 year old. She is now only on 3 medications, down from 15. She is an overcomer and reminds us all of how precious life is. 

Katelyn is now helping spread the word about congenital heart defects, which occur at the rate of 1 in every 100 babies. She will be the 2016 Ambassador at the Sioux City Heart Walk which is being held on May 14th!

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White House releases rules to protect public from tobacco

Big news, You're the Cure Advocates!

After a two year delay, the White House finally gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over all tobacco products, including cigars, hookah, and e-cigarettes, in a move that protects both kids and adults across the country from taking up a life-threatening nicotine habit.

This means big changes are coming!

  • Product manufacturers must now register with the FDA, provide ingredient lists, and obtain approval to market new tobacco products.
  • The rule stops the use of misleading terms such as “light”, “low”, or “mild,” bans free samples, and prohibits sales to anyone under 18, as well as most vending machines.
  • Packages and advertisements must include health warnings.

Thank you so much for your relentless work holding the Administration accountable to protect public health. Your actions have made a huge difference and we couldn’t be prouder!

Now let’s celebrate this victory together by sharing on Facebook and retweeting the good news! Also, check out AHA CEO Nancy Brown's opinion on her Huffington Post blog.

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Advocates to Congress: Act FAST!

Last month, 34 You're the Cure advocates came to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Senators and Representatives to discuss why they need to cosponsor the FAST Act. First, watch the powerful video below that explains why telestroke care is personal to them and so many like them across the country. Second, contact your legislators and urge them to support the FAST Act today!

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Exercise their Minds: Protect PE

The benefits of physical education ring clear as a school bell. With daily PE, we can keep kids’ hearts healthy and their minds in gear to do their best at school. The fact is, active kids learn better. And the benefits don’t end there. Physical education has positive impacts on their physical, mental, and emotional health.

Yet competing priorities are making effective PE programs less and less common. With your help, we can change that. In April, the Voices for Healthy Kids team is launching a campaign to start a national conversation about PE and why it is so critical for all kids themed, “Exercise their Minds. Protect PE,” and they need your help. 

As a Voices for Healthy Kids PE action team member, you’ll be kept up-to-date on campaigns in your community and around the country in support of PE, and be provided with opportunities to get involved. Join today at www.voicesforhealthykids.org/PE and help us start the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ProtectPE.

Voices for Healthy Kids is dedicated to ensuring that physical education is provided to all of our kids. It’s not only good for their health, it’s good for their minds. And that’s good for all of us.

Download the full toolkit now at Physicaleducation.voicesforhealthykids.org .

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Share Your Story-Heart Walk Survivors

Life is Why!

Everyone has a reason to live a healthier, longer life.

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premier event in the community. It promotes physical activity and heart-healthy living in a fun, family environment.

It is a time of celebration for those who have made lifestyle changes and encourages many more to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles while raising the monies needed to fund life-saving research and education, advocate for health and SAVE lives!

Come join us for the Kansas City Heart Walk!

Where:

Power & Light District
Grand Boulevard
Kansas City, Missouri, 64106

When:

Starts: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 8:00:00 AM
Ends: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 11:30:00 AM

Registration Fee: Free event. Participants are encouraged to collect donations.

REGISTER HERE FOR THE UPCOMING HEART WALK.   

It's easier than ever to support the American Heart Association.

For more information contact:
Natalie Cronkhite
913-652-1901
natalie.cronkhite@heart.org

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