American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
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!   

Read More

New CPR Guidelines: Everyone Has a Role to Play

Under the new CPR guidelines, released just last month, a cell phone and a willingness to step in are key components to saving someone’s life. 

According to the new guidelines, bystanders not trained in CPR should immediately call 9-1-1, put the phone on speaker, and then provide "hands-only CPR," pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest, 100 to 120 times per minute. According to the American Heart Association, have a cellphone can be a literal lifesaver, as dispatchers are specifically trained to provide instructions for performing CPR. 

More than 326,000 people nationwide experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, and about 90 percent of them die.  Administration of hands only CPR immediately can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival.  For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

The latest American Heart Association guidelines, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, highlight how quick action, proper training, use of technology and coordinated efforts can increase survival from cardiac arrest.  A leading cause of death in the United States, cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops, usually due to an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat and disrupts blood flow through the body.  Survival from sudden cardiac arrest depends upon immediate CPR and other actions starting with bystanders. 

With everyone having a role to play in the chain of survival, it is more important than ever that everyone be trained in how to perform Hands Only CPR.  For a video instruction of Hands Only CPR, CLICK HERE.  

Read More

Share Your Story-Owen Hunt

Owen Hunt Iowa

Owen Hunt is a character-he has a certain charisma about him of someone much older.  He is an inspiring 4 year old boy who loves to talk and tell stories, play with Legos, puzzles, his dog and, on occasion, his sister. On the outside, Owen is a very normal little boy, but on the inside he is battling heart defects and autoimmune disorders.

A few weeks after Owen was born his parents began to notice that something was wrong because he was having a lot of trouble eating and breathing. At two months old, doctors found that his aorta arched to the right instead of the left as it should and had fused with another blood vessel creating a vascular ring which was pinching his esophagus and trachea shut. To help fix this problem, Owen was operated on when he was 3 months old.

At 15 months old he had another surgery to repair another defect in his aorta called a diverticulum, which is like a "bulge" or pocket. In his short four years he has also been diagnosed with having a VSD (a tiny hole in his heart), BAV (two aortic valves instead of three), GERD/reflux, tracheomalacia (weakness in part of his trachea), structural abnormalities of his lungs, chronic bronchitis, severe eating delays, Esinophillic Esophagitis (an autoimmune reaction to food proteins), and an autoimmune disorder called PANDAS (brain inflammation caused by the body's reaction to strep virus).

Despite all of this, he is an adorable entertainer with so much enthusiasm and creativity!

Read More

Did you know: Congestive Heart Failure

Did you know: the number of Americans diagnosed with heart failure is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent during the next 15 years and the costs of managing the illness will almost double, according to a new report from the American Heart Association released last Tuesday.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It’s one of the most common heart diseases in the U.S., with more than 870,000 new cases reported annually. There are ways to manage and treat heart failure, but about half of all people die within five years of being diagnosed.

To learn more about CHF, click here.

Read More

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!


Read More

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.  



Read More

Did you know: Wisconsin's ANCHOR grant

The American Heart Association has the opportunity to impact community health through the Accelerating National Community Health Outcomes through Reinforcing Partnerships Program (ANCHOR Partnerships Program), better known as ANCHOR. Wisconsin was one of fifteen markets selected throughout our nation to work towards improving community health; in Wisconsin, we are working towards increasing levels of physical activity amongst elementary age students in the Fox Valley (Calumet, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties) and Crawford County. Towards that end, we have partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to expand their Active Schools Core 4+ strategies to eight new elementary schools. The Active Schools Core 4+ strategies are strategies to help students achieve more of their recommended minutes of daily physical activity throughout the entirety of the school day. These four strategies are: Before School, After School, Active Classrooms, Active Recess, and the plus stands for Family and Community Engagement.


Schools that participate in the ANCHOR Program will be introduced to and receive training on these strategies in order to help increase the opportunities their students have to be physically active throughout the day. We know that active students are better learners, with increased attentiveness, memory, and decreased negative behavioral outcomes. By participating in the ANCHOR program, the schools in these five Wisconsin counties are taking steps to ensure the success of their students, and future generations of students, in the years to come.

Read More

Share Your Story: Paula Arbaugh

Paula Arbaugh Wisconsin

My name is Paula Arbaugh and I am a wife and mother to three growing boys.  I am also a Boy Scout leader and love to go camping, hiking and cook outdoors.  My faith is very important to me and I enjoy doing both women’s and couple’s bible studies with other families in my community. I have worked as a clinical exercise physiologist in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation for the past 24 years and was a health educator before that. But I write this not as a health professional, but as a sudden cardiac arrest survivor.

On July 29, 2007, at the age of 42, I got to witness God’s protection and provision first-hand.  I had recently arrived at our very first Cub Scout summer camp with my first and second grade sons and was busy hauling camping gear to the campsite, taking a tour of the camp and doing the dreaded “swim test”.  It was here that I ran into trouble.  We needed to swim four lengths of the dock (about the distance of a football field) to qualify as a “swimmer” which would allow us to go in the deeper water and participate in boating activities. I was on my third length when I didn’t feel right and knew I needed to get out of the water. A fellow parent encouraged me to do the last lap, but I knew I needed to stop. I got out of the water, picked up my “beginner” swim tag instead of the “swimmer” tag I had intended to get and then sat down on a picnic bench to rest.  My last thought was “I sure hope there is a hospital close by.”

The rest of the story was told to me by other adults that were with us at camp.  I was told I collapsed to the ground and one of the mother’s called out for help.  The lifeguard ran over to me and determined that I wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse.  I had had a sudden cardiac arrest. The lifeguard started Hands-Only CPR and a radio call to the camp’s health officer was made to bring the AED. She literally ran out of her shoes as she made the quarter mile trek down a steep hill to bring the AED to my side. One of the Dad’s in our group was a paramedic/firefighter and well trained in CPR and AED use.  The three of them continued to do full CPR until they got the AED attached and a shock was given.  One shock was administered and CPR was continued.  The health officer said I was completely blue before the shock but started to pink up a bit after the shock and CPR was continued.  911 had been called and once EMS arrived, it was determined that I had regained a pulse and was breathing on my own.  I was loaded into the ambulance and taken to hospital number one, Calumet Medical Center in Chilton. My husband had been called and was told that I had collapsed and needed CPR and that he should go immediately to the hospital in Chilton.  My husband left with our youngest son (only four at the time) and started driving the hour plus trek with the expectation of hearing “I’m sorry, we did everything we could” once he got to the hospital.  He says all he could think about during that drive was how was he going to raise three little boys by himself and how would he tell our littlest one that his mamma wasn’t ever coming home.

I don’t remember much about the hospital stay as one of the effects of sudden cardiac arrest is loss of short term memory. They stabilized me, did some initial testing to see if I was having a heart attack (I wasn’t) and then shipped me to hospital number 2, Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh.  More testing was done at Mercy and finally a cardiac cath was done to see if blockages to my coronary arteries had caused the cardiac arrest.  I had no blockages so the cause of my arrest was unknown which led to my third hospital trip to St. Lukes in Milwaukee.

Since there was not a “fixable” cause for my sudden cardiac arrest, my electrophysiologist determined that I needed an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, otherwise known as an ICD. The ICD would sense an abnormal heart rhythm and, if needed, give me a shock to get the heart rhythm back to normal. I have now had my defibrillator for almost eight years and am happy to say that I have only been shocked once. I have had several episodes of an abnormal heart rhythm, but none have lasted long enough to need another shock. 

I feel so blessed to have had all of the trained people and emergency equipment available that day to save my life.  Only about 5% of people that have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive but my heroes used the skills they learned from the American Heart Association to save me that day! I can’t even imagine what life would be like for my husband and three sons if I had not survived.

My relationship with the American Heart Association actually began long before my sudden cardiac arrest.  I became an American Heart CPR instructor in the mid-1980’s and taught many people these life-saving skills over the years. Little did I know that I would one day be the recipient of those very skills. I have also been a volunteer for the American Heart Association and have helped plan fundraising events such as “Country Dance for Heart” and the “American Heart Walk.”  Professionally, I rely on the American Heart Association for current research on heart and cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.  The American Heart Association also offers many great educational tools for my patients.  I have always believed in the American Heart Association’s mission of “building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, ” it just hits a little closer to home these days.  I gladly support the American Heart Association and hope that you will too!


Read More

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.

Read More

Social factors could erase gains in heart disease, stroke

Although deaths from heart attacks and strokes have been declining thanks to advances in prevention and treatment, social factors such as race and income could reverse that trend, according to a first-of-its-kind statement from the American Heart Association.

The incidence of heart disease and stroke in the United States is expected to rise 10 percent by 2030, with the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and age all partly to blame, the statement said.

Click here to read the rest of the article on our site!


Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse