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Share Your Story: John Roeder

by Christy D. on Wednesday, September 4, 2013

John Roeder Missouri

My involvement with the American Heart Association provided me the knowledge and education to recognize my own heart problems. 

In January of 2009 I completed the Disney World Marathon, which was my 7th in 7 years (not bad for a 55 year old). I have been a lifetime runner and always felt as long as I was running I was immune from heart disease. Unfortunately I was wrong. By the end of 2009 I had a stint put in to clear an artery that was 95% blocked.  Had it not been for the knowledge I received from the American Heart Association I likely would have ignored the signs.  While I don’t run marathons anymore, I work out as vigorously as ever and have never felt better. 

Like many of us involved with the American Heart Association my family has been directly impacted by heart disease.  I lost my father to heart disease at the age of 59 after a 15 year battle.  My mother had a heart attack at the age of 65.  I have both a brother and sister who have been diagnosed with Cardio Myopathy. Clearly the work of the AHA was and is still important to my family.

I have been involved with the American Heart Association off and on for many years as both a participant in fund raising activities as well as a volunteer leader at the annual Heart Walk.  I got involved in advocacy a couple of years ago hoping to help shape policy with our elected officials.  The highlight of my involvement was traveling to Washington D.C. last spring to meet with our elected officials, on behalf of The American Heart Association, to advocate for the importance of continued funding for research.  I’m looking forward to my next step of getting actively involved in the American Heart Association’s “Million Hearts” campaign.