American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
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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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Share Your Story-Derek Means

Derek Means Iowa

Derek Means is a typical 12 year old boy who enjoys playing basketball and video games.  You would never know that he was born with a congenital heart defect and has undergone 3 lifesaving surgeries, with another in his future.  Derek is thankful to the American Heart Association and his wonderful team of doctors and nurses for saving his life and giving him the opportunity to raise awareness as this year’s Central Iowa Heart Walk Ambassador.  This year’s Central Iowa Heart Walk will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016.  Click Here to join Derek and so many others in their fight against heart disease and stroke.

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Share Your Story-Benny

Benny Missouri

Benny was born on July 18, 2014 at 37 weeks with a Congenital Heart Defect.  He is our second blessing and little miracle baby. His diagnosis is Double Outlet Right Ventricle with Sub-aortic Ventricular Septical Defect, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Dextrocardia, Heterotaxy with Asplenia, Malrotation of the intestines and Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. In simple terms, Benny had a large hole between the both ventricles, his aorta and pulmonary artery is on the right ventricle, he can go into episodes where his heart can beat up to 260 beats per minute, his heart and stomach are on the right side of his body, his intestines are not rotated properly and can twist and he has no spleen. Since he has no spleen, Benny needs to take antibiotics twice a day for the rest of his life and we need to be extra careful he doesn't get sick so he doesn't end up in the ER.

How did all this happen you ask? Well, no one really knows yet. The genetics Doctors are still doing studies to research if it was genetics or just something random that happened. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was super healthy and did everything I was supposed to. We didn’t find all this out until I was 35 weeks pregnant. I felt like something wasn't right and had gone to the Doctor, who then sent me to the hospital, who then confirmed that he was in and had a hole in his heart. The local hospital couldn’t tell us much since they were limited on testing so they decided to send me to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis MO. They ended up flying me up there the same night and testing began the very next morning.

After several tests, ultrasounds and EKGs and ECHOs later, all was confirmed. We were devastated that our baby was going to have to go though some extreme challenges right as he was born, but all the Doctors were hopeful. We owe so much and are so grateful to have a team of wonderful doctors. Benny had to stay in the hospital in St. Louis for a month and a half before we could bring him home. While at the hospital, Benny had to get a PA band around one of his pulmonary artery to slow down the blood flow into his lungs. That was a temporary fix until he received his open heart surgery to repair the hole in his heart in May 5, 2015. We've had a few other scares where we've had to rush him to the ER in St. Louis because of his SVT (fast heartbeat).  During one of his episodes, it took 10 hours to get him back to normal heart rhythm. The doctors had to shock his heart 3 times and drain fluid from around his heart.

When I became a heart mom I knew I had to do several things for my son Benny, one of which was be an advocate for him and for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness. Many people are not quite familiar about Congenital Heart Defects. They don't ...know that Congenital Heart Defects are the most common defects in the U.S., 1 in 100 babies are born with it. Approximately 40,000 babies are born in the U.S. with a CHD each year. Or that CHD's are the leading cause of infant deaths in the United States. Also, Congenital Heart Defects are common and deadly, yet CHD research is grossly under-funded relative to the prevalence of the disease.

One of my many jobs as a heart mom is to share the information about CHDs. The more awareness there is, the more fundraising and funding there is. And the more funding, the more research there is to make better medicines with less side effects, more research to make surgeries less risky and hopefully find a cure and prevention one day.

Our Benny is a tough fighter and will continue to fight. Benny is why we raise awareness.  Join Benny in his fight against Heart Disease and Stroke at this year’s Heart Walk. Register Here

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AHA President Says: The Science is Clear on Sodium Reduction

Check this out! In a new video, the President of the AHA, Dr. Mark Creager, explains that the science behind sodium reduction is clear. He says that robust evidence has linked excess sodium intake with high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. And, he points out that you can do something about it: join AHA’s efforts to demand change in the amounts of sodium in our food supply.

“Nearly 80 percent of the sodium we eat comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods” says AHA president Dr. Mark Creager. The video shows the 6 foods that contribute the most salt to the American diet: breads & rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches."

To see the video, head over to our Sodium Breakup blog!

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You've spoken loud and clear

Just a couple months ago, thousands told us what you thought of the You’re the Cure advocacy program. You didn’t hold your opinions back…but that is exactly what we wanted and needed to hear.

So, what did you tell us and what are we going do about it? Here are our top 3 takeaways.

  • Our Website: It’s 2016, but seemingly not so on www.yourethecure.org. You bluntly said you don’t visit the site often and have found it less valuable over the years. Although tough to hear, we heard it loud and clear. Expect some major changes in the fall that will elevate our program.
  • Our emails:  You are getting more email than you know what to do with and only want to see messages that you care about. Whether it is childhood obesity, stroke, heart disease or another issue, we know you only want to see messages that mean the most to you. Over the next 6 months, we will work to improve our outreach to help tailor our communications to the causes you're most passionate about.
  • Mobile: A majority of you only read email and check websites via your phone or tablet. It’s time to deliver content in a format that works for you. We are going to change all of that in the near future.

Thank you for your input. We cannot wait to show you the new You’re the Cure in the next months. 

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The healthy difference a month can make

March is Nutrition Month, and a perfect time to get more involved with the AHA’s ongoing efforts to promote science-based food and nutrition programs that help reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Every day, we’re seeing new initiatives: to make fruits and vegetables more affordable; to reduce the number of sugar-sweetened beverages that our kids are drinking; and of course, to ensure students are getting the healthiest school meals possible, all with the same goal: to help families across the country lead the healthiest lives they possibly can.

It’s also a great opportunity to lower your sodium intake. The average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day – more than twice the AHA-recommended amount. Excessive sodium consumption has been shown to lead to elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Visit www.heart.org/sodium for tips on to lower your intake and to get heart-healthy recipes.

However you choose to celebrate, Nutrition Month gives us all the chance to take control of our diets; to recommit to eating fresh, healthy foods; and to remember all month long that you’re the cure.

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The Road to Recovery

Everyone knows someone who has had a heart attack, and thanks to modern science there are amazing medical interventions making survival possible. But once a patient has survived their cardiac event, what is next? For many patients, cardiac rehabilitation is a vital part of the recovery process but our laws don’t always make it easy to get this important care. You can help urge lawmakers to ensure access for patients needing cardiac rehab.

Patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease benefit from exercise training, healthy lifestyle education, and counseling to reduce stress. These activities are all part of a cardiac rehab program, and research shows cardiac rehab reduces the risk of a second cardiac event and improves a patient’s quality of life. Unfortunately, there are a number of barriers that prevent patients from participating in a cardiac rehab program, but a simple change in the law would help patients utilize these services. The proposal would allow non-physician providers – such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants – to directly supervise these programs and ensure people have access to cardiac rehab to improve their cardiovascular health.  So contact your lawmakers today, the message you send could help a loved one get the care they need.

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It's time to fight for the NIH

Not only does March kick-off the start of the NCAA basketball tournament, but also our push for more funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Last year, we achieved a major win when Congress gave the NIH an additional $2 billion in funding. But we cannot be satisfied with just one victory. As long as heart disease and stroke continue to kill too many Americans, we cannot stop fighting for a cure.

Join us as we begin our journey for more NIH funding by contacting your lawmakers today!

Yes, this is a long journey and the first step is for legislators to submit their funding priorities to the Appropriations committees. With all the different projects, programs, and agencies vying for attention, we must fight to make sure NIH is on top of the list. 

As we learned last year during this multistep process, nothing is final until the last votes are tallied and we expect many twists and turns along the way. We will keep you updated on the appropriations process and let you know how you can make sure NIH gets the funding it deserves.

Thank you and make your voice heard today!

Need a refresher on why NIH is important? Check out the video below.

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