American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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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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Tobacco 21 Picking Up Steam in NJ!

The New Jersey Legislature will be heading back to Trenton this month for the final weeks of the current legislative session. This period is often referred to as the "lame duck session," and many bills that have been making their way through the legislative process will be heard in committee and be voted on in both houses. Those that do not receive legislative approval before the session ends in January will need to be reintroduced.

One of the bills that the American Heart Association supports would raise the age for purchasing tobacco from 19 to 21. The measure passed in the Senate in June 2014, but it is awaiting consideration in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. There are currently 8 bipartisan sponsors that are supporting the bill.

Hawaii was the first state to pass such a law earlier this year. The legislation is modeled on a law that passed in Needham, MA. After it went into effect, the youth smoking rate plummeted by 50%. In addition, 8 towns in New Jersey have enacted a similar policy locally.

I hope that you will join our efforts in the coming weeks to advocate for this potentially life-saving legislation.

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Patty Lang, New Jersey

Patty Lang is a two time stroke survivor and a passionate You're the Cure advocate. She is also very involved in the Go Red for Women movement as a survivor ambassador as well as volunteering at numerous Heart Walks. She was recognized for her efforts when she was awarded the American Heart Association Garden State Go Red for Women Woman of Distinction award in 2014.

Recently, Patty was involved in an effort to secure proclamations to commemorate World Stroke Day on October 29. Patty was successful in obtaining a resolution from the New Jersey Legislature and proclamation from both the Mayor of Monroe Township and Governor Chris Christie recognizing October 29, 2015 as World Stroke Day.

Patty’s passion and dedication to helping raising awareness around heart disease and stroke is inspiring others to make changes and live healthier. Thank you Patty!

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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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Supporting World Stroke Day Throughout NJ!

On October 29, 2015, the American Stroke Association will lend its support to World Stroke Day. World Stroke Day was established in 2006 and is now observed around the world to raise global awareness of stroke, its symptoms and what to do if you witness someone having a stroke. This year, "You're the Cure" advocates like you will be taking action to help raise awareness in communities throughout New Jersey.

Many of our dedicated volunteers are asking the leaders of their town to show support by introducing a resolution. The resolution will recognize October 29, 2015 as World Stroke Day in that particular town, providing an opportunity for town leaders to begin a public dialogue around stroke, raise awareness of the warning signs and educate their constituents on what to do.

Want to get your town involved? For more information on this initiative, please contact me at I will be happy to discuss this with you at any time!

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Paul Russo-Vineland, NJ

Paul Russo is a heart disease survivor and has been a dedicated “You’re the Cure” advocate for many years. His main areas of interest are tobacco prevention and promoting CPR training.

In 2011, Paul’s quick action and willingness to perform CPR saved his father’s life. On November 29, Paul was helping his parents decorate for the holidays. He and his father, Archie, had just finished moving the Christmas tree from the basement to their living room. Archie went back to close the cellar door. Paul felt compelled to go check on him. He found his father out of breath and moments later Archie collapsed. Paul immediately called 911 and the operator coached him through CPR. Paul revived his father before EMS arrived. Archie soon underwent successful surgery (with the same surgeon who performed Paul’s valve repair months earlier.) At 80 years old, Archie had a new lease on life and is alive and well today thanks to Paul’s quick action.

 Paul believes everyone should learn CPR and advocated on behalf of the successful CPR in schools legislation that was signed into law in 2014.

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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and to help raise awareness with families across the country, the American Heart Association has brought back a fun and easy way to help you with the No. 1 health concern among parents – childhood obesity. Through the Life is Why Family Health Challenge™  families and kids will learn to take control of their health in four weeks by pursuing a different goal each week with activities that are fun, simple, won’t break the bank and can be done as a family! By the end of the month, you might feel accomplished and be better equipped to live a heart-healthy life. There will also be four Life is Why Family Health Challenge™ Twitter Chats every Wednesday in September.

Mark your calendars and get ready to take the challenge in September by visiting - where you will have access to videos, complimentary challenge materials, and the Life is Why Family Health Challenge™ social media group that will help you, and your family, stay on track.  



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Healthy School Lunches are a Priority for NJ Advocates

During the Congressional summer recess this month, "You're the Cure" advocates from throughout New Jersey took the opportunity to visit the district offices of several representatives to show their support for healthy school lunches and the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act which is due for reauthorization.

The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act successfully reduced the amount of fat, sugar and salt in foods served at school. In New Jersey, 95% of schools are complying with the requirements. Instead of completely doing away with the requirements that school food be healthy, assistance should be provided to schools that face challenges in meeting the requirements.

There were a number of meetings in NJ throughout August. Special thanks to "You're the Cure" advocates Rosalie Mayes, Bill Duncan, Joan Helfman and Bob Goodman for taking the time to visit their local Congressional offices to share information about why its important to keep school lunches healthy.

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Calling All NJ Advocates!

Want to share your story about how you are fighting heart disease and stroke in your community? Now is your chance! Each day, "You're the Cure" advocates like you are stepping up and taking action to make the Garden State a healthier place to live, work, play and learn and we want to hear about it!

If you are interested in sharing your experiences with your fellow "You're the Cure" advocates in New Jersey, please reach out to Corinne Orlando at You're story could appear in an upcoming "Advocate Spotlight"!

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New Stroke Guidelines Will Change Stroke Treatment in the U.S

Each year, more than 690,000 Americans have strokes caused by blood clots blocking vessels in the brain, called ischemic strokes. Some of the clots can grow large and may require intense therapy to treat.

However, widely celebrated new research reaffirms that large blood clots in the brain are less likely to result in disability or death, if the blockage is removed in the crucial early hours of having a stroke.

Right now the standard treatment is a clot-dissolving drug called tPA. But it must be given intravenously within 4.5 hours to be effective. For people with larger brain clots, tPA only works about a third of the time.

New studies recommend doctors to use modernized -retrievable stents, to open and trap the clot, allowing doctors to extract the clot and reopen the artery nearly every time when used with tPA.

To learn more read “Clot Removing Devices Provide Better Outcomes for Stroke Patients” and visit to learn the warning signs of stroke.

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