American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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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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A Nickel to Curb Smoking

Great News! Before the Assembly recessed for the summer, they introduced a bill to provide funding for tobacco programs aimed at preventing smoking and helping smokers quit. Smoking is still the #1 cause of preventable death in the state and New Jersey collects about $700 million from tobacco taxes each year, yet not one single cent is spent on tobacco prevention efforts.

New Jersey is the only state that provides no public funding to stop this preventable public health threat, but this legislation would change that! The bill requires that the state set aside 5% of what they collect in tobacco taxes (or a nickel for every dollar) to be used to for tobacco programs-estimated to be about $33 million each year!

The bill is sponsored by Assemblymen Carmelo Garcia, Timothy Eustace, Adam Taliaferro and Raj Mukherji and we thank them for their leadership on this issue. There is no Senate version of the bill (yet!) but I invite you to join with me and other "You're the Cure" advocates throughout New Jersey to advocate for this important legislation.

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Have you checked out the AHA store lately?

T-shirts, measuring bowls, jewelry and everything in between. This summer you can “Shop Heart” choose the best of AHA swag like cookbooks, apparel, and accessories.

You can help spread our message of heart health when you wear an American Heart Association t-shirt, jacket, lapel pin, or tie. In addition to great gear we also stock educational materials so you can share important heart and stroke prevention advice with family and friends. Best of all when you "Shop Heart" money spent supports the mission of the American Heart Association.

Check out the latest merchandise in the store and show your support for the AHA today. 

P.S.  – There is a limited edition You’re the Cure T-shirt in the store. But hurry, only a couple dozen remain!







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NJ You're the Cure Advocates Visit NJ State House

On June 18, over 20 advocates from the American Heart Association, YMCA State Alliance and The Food Trust gathered at the New Jersey State House in Trenton to celebrate the introduction of the Healthy Small Food Retailer Act (S3043/A4505).

The bill is being sponsored by Senator Ron Rice and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez in the Senate and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, Assemblyman Angel Fuentes, Assemblyman Daniel Benson and Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson. It would provide state support to the NJ Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. The program has been operating on the local level for several years and provides training, education and resources to small stores that agree to offer healthier products to their customers.

The event at the State House included a press conference with Assemblymen Wimberly and Diegnan to announce the introduction of the bill and highlight the benefits. Advocates then received training on the issue and were able to talk to several other legislators throughout the day.

To learn more about the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative or to get involved, please visit the website at!

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