American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
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Find the Heart Walk Near You

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premier community event, helping to save lives from heart disease and stroke. More than 300 walks across America raise funds to support valuable health research, education and advocacy programs of the American Heart Association in every state. Our You’re the Cure advocacy movement – and our public policy successes along the way – are all made possible by the funds raised by the Heart Walk. Whether it’s CPR laws passed to train the next generation of lifesavers or policy to regulate tobacco products and prevent youth smoking,  together we are building a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The Heart Walk is truly a community event, celebrating survivors, living healthy, and being physically active. We hope you’ll join us and visit the site today. If there is not a walk listed in your area soon,  it may be coming in the spring season or you can join a virtual event. And don’t forget to connect with your local advocacy staff and ask about your local Heart Walk day-of You’re the Cure plans - they may need your help spreading the word. Thanks for all you do, and happy Heart Walk season.

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Hey Wyoming! Let's do the #SuperParkSelfie challenge in July!

Getting as little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. This summer, why not increase your physical activity by taking part in National Park and Recreation Month?

Here’s the latest from the National Recreation and Park Association:

This July, we want you to discover your super powers at your local parks and rec! To see just how SUPER you are, we are challenging you to take a #SuperParkSelfie every week this July. Head out to your nearest park or recreation center and show us how parks and rec super power your life.

Each week has a different selfie theme:

  • July 11-17: Selfie doing something healthy!
  • July 18-24: Selfie with your friends and community!
  • July 25-31: Selfie showing your superhero side!

You’ll be able to submit your selfie via this page, Facebook or by sharing the photo on Twitter and Instagram. Check out information on the prizes and how to enter on the contest page here.

When you share your selfie on social media, please use the AHA Wyoming Advocacy hashtag #YoureTheCureWY in addition to #SuperParkSelfie and #SuperJuly.  

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Allison Pierce

Please meet our new American Heart Association volunteer leader and Arkansas State Advocacy Committee member, Dr. Allison Pierce.  

Hometown: Dallas, Texas     Current town: Springdale, Arkansas

Favorite movie: Stand By Me
Hobbies: cooking, gardening, home improvement projects, playing with my dogs
Pets: Kizzy (4-year-old blue heeler mix), Red (2-year-old boxer mix), Bill and Pi (2-year-old carpet pythons)

Role model: When in doubt, I look to my mother, who taught me patience, accountability, honesty, kindness, and generosity while making sure I understood that life is precious and to be lived fully every day.

Greatest achievement: I am an aunt to a wonderful four-year-old named Lily, and there is another little one on the way. While this is not necessarily my own achievement, it has brought me more joy than anything else I have experienced, and I have absolutely loved getting to know my younger sister as the beautiful nurturer that she has become. As far as my own achievements, I am looking forward to finishing my psychiatry residency. The path to becoming a physician has required years of focus and commitment, so that day will be quite a milestone.

Two celebrities or historical figures you would want to have dinner with (living or not) and why them? This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many. Maya Angelou comes to mind since her writing has been an inspiration to me for almost my entire life. I hear she could throw a great party, and I would love to talk to her about life, love, politics, and a host of other topics. Slavenka Drakulic is another strong and passionate woman who has inspired me. She endured the oppression of communism and still found joy in life while standing up to her oppressors, often at great risk to herself. She has inspired me in many ways, and I would enjoy hearing some of the more personal stories that don't make it into her writings. If I were hosting a dinner for historical figures or celebrities, it would most certainly be a large group.

Why is advocating with the AHA important to you? Heart disease runs in my family, so it is an issue that hits close to home for me. In my experience as a physician, I have seen the far reaching social, physical, and mental effects of heart disease. It is largely preventable, and advocacy is an integral component in providing education and resources that will empower people to take care of themselves.

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Advocate Spotlight: Meet Dee Garrison

Name: Dee Garrison

Hometown: Bairoil, Wyoming

Dee traveled to Cheyenne in February to attend the American Heart Association Advocating for Heart Day and to share her story with Wyoming lawmakers about making the fight against heart disease - the #1 killer of women - a priority in Wyoming.  If you would like to share your story with lawmakers and make a difference in our great state please contact Kristen at kristen.waters@heart.org to find out about advocacy opportunities coming up! 

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"For many years as a child I was always tired and would suffer from shortness of breath and as I grew older I thought perhaps I had asthma. All the times I was taken to a doctor, no one found anything wrong with my heart. It was not until my later years that what was thought to just be a heart murmur was found.

In January of 2007 I had my first heart attack. I has been having a lot of stress and as I worked in Corrections, I was working twelve hour shifts and doing many steps, walking, and running throughout a shift. This day I was having small chest pains and problems breathing. I thought it was just stress because I had gone to see my physician two weeks prior and the E.K.G. showed nothing. I left work and when I got home, I just could not get comfortable. I finally called 9-1-1 as I knew I was having a heart attack. This blood clot brought me my first two stints with six trips to the hospital for angina.

In November of 2012 I suffered another heart attack. This brought me to four more stints. With both of these heart attacks, my heart stopped beating and thanks to CPR and good medical, I survived them both. I had to retire as I continued to have chest pains and was constantly on nitroglycerin pills. I also suffered from depression fearing the next attack which did come in January 2014.

By this time I was frank with my doctors after convincing myself I was not paranoid and had a CATH (Cardiac Catheterization). This showed that I was among 5% of heart patients whose heart does not respond well to stints. It also showed the heart murmur was actually a birth defect, a hole in my heart. During my bi-pass the surgeon also repaired the hole in my heart. I am recovering now and actually feeling better than I have ever felt in my life. It has been a long journey, but I have survived because of advances in medical care and the grace of God."

To join the You're The Cure advocacy network CLICK HERE.

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CPR Week in Wyoming

The American Heart Association – Wyoming celebrated CPR Week, June 1-7, by teaming up with the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Department to teach Hands-only CPR throughout Teton County. AHA and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS also wrote letters to more than 100 state and local lawmakers reminding them of the 2 simple steps of Hands-only CPR: Call 911 and press hard and fast in the center of the chest.

Throughout CPR week, AHA staff along with firefighters and EMTs set up camp at 3 grocery stores in the town of Jackson and taught more than 100 people, from kids to adults, this lifesaving skill. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can possibly triple a person’s chance of survival. Bystander CPR has been credited with saving the lives of at least 5 people in Teton County over the past few years.

For more information on hands-only CPR please CLICK HERE.

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Help Protect PE for Kids Like Me!

Guest post from Reagan Spomer, 6th grader Alliance for a Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board Member & You’re the Cure Advocate

I have two words for you… scooter hockey.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?  That’s because it is!  Scooter hockey, along with cage ball and 3-way soccer are some of my favorite activities in gym class, which I have a few times a week.

I’m glad I have physical education for a number of reasons.  It keeps me active and teaches me to try new things.  It helps me focus on my school work.  It relieves my stress.  And most of all, it makes me feel great! 

But I know a lot of schools don’t have regular PE like my schools does.  That means a lot of kids are missing out on the benefits of being active during the school day.  I think this needs to change.   

Will you help?  As part of the nationwide campaign to protect PE in schools, Voices for Healthy Kids has created a photo petition map to show how many people across the country love PE like I do.  As people share their pictures, the map will change colors.  I’ve added my “I heart PE” photo for South Dakota.  Will you do the same for your state?  It’s really easy:

  1. Print an “I heart PE” sign (or make your own!)
  2. Take a picture of yourself holding the sign.
  3. Click on your state to share your photo.

Thanks for helping to protect PE for kids like me!
-Reagan

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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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Join Us, Wyoming: Advocacy Chat with Kristen & Allison

May is Stroke Awareness Month, and we want to talk to you! Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. One out of six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. Still, the vast majority of Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is working hard each and every day to address those statistics through education, research and advocacy. 

Join us, Thursday, May 19 at 12:00 p.m. as we recognize Stroke Awareness Month during a 30-minute Advocacy Chat with Wyomingites, discussing the disease that claims the lives and independence of nearly 800,000 people each year.

We’ll talk about stroke risk, the signs and symptoms and how to take appropriate measures. We will also talk about the grassroots opportunities available to our advocates to get involved with stroke-related policy change in Wyoming.

Join the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and folks from across the state of Wyoming in an effort to raise awareness and make an impact on the health of our great state! Please RSVP for this Advocacy Chat by CLICKING HERE.

*If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kristen Waters at kristen.waters@heart.org or call 402-960-6078.

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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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Stroke Awareness Month in Wyoming: Can We Share Your Story?

Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. And one out of six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. But still, the vast majority of Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. The Wyoming American Heart Association – American Stroke Association is working hard each and every day to eliminate those statistics through education, research and legislation. But we need your help!  Help us raise awareness of our No. 5 killer and leading cause of disability in May as we celebrate survivors and raise awareness during Stroke Awareness Month.

Are you a stroke survivor or know someone who is? We’d love to hear your story of survival and share it with others so that they, too, can survive a stroke. Please contact us at Kristen.waters@heart.org or call 402-960-6078

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