The AHA has been a part of my life and many of my family members' lives from birth. As of today, we have 14 family members that have been born with Congenital Heart Defects. Without funding for research, many of my family members may not be alive today. In 2010, I underwent emergency open heart surgery after suffering a bad heart attack, often called the "widow maker." Here I am with Dr. Hillard. I know that if it weren't for the funding for research that allows people like him to work, I and many of my family members wouldn't be here.