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  • Blog Post: Charlie and Beth Melita-Fair Haven, NJ

    Charlie and Beth Melita tragically lost their 21 year old son Robert to a sudden cardiac death in December 2012. They wanted to find a way to honor Robert's memory and give back to the community who provided support to their family.  Together with his close family friend Paul Lenskold, Charlie formed...
  • Blog Post: Sara Bonneau, Rhode Island

    We recently had the pleasure of meeting Sara Bonneau, an amazing mom who is working with her legislators to make sure that all Rhode Island high schools and middle schools have functioning AEDs – and that an AED is present on athletic fields during school sporting events. On February 25, Sara testified...
  • Blog Post: Dr. Stephen Leffler & the University of Vermont Medical Center Support a Tax to Reduce Obesity and Health Care Costs

    The University of Vermont Medical Center has been outstanding in its support of a two cent per ounce excise tax on sugary drinks to reduce obesity in Vermont. Stephen Leffler, the Chief Medical Officer for the hospital, has been a tireless advocate testifying before a legislative committee, speaking...
  • Blog Post: Rhonda Hall, Massachusetts

    Eight years ago, Rhonda Hall was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and soon after that, she was diagnosed with diabetes. In just one day, she became a four shot-a-day diabetic and had high cholesterol and hypertension as well. Rhonda explained that it was an extremely tough time, but despite the challenges...
  • Blog Post: Lisa Deck, Rhode Island

    We are very excited to share that Rhode Island Advocacy Committee member and stroke survivor Lisa Deck was recently selected to serve as a National Go Red for Women Spokesperson! Congratulations Lisa and thank you for all that you do! Click the following links to see our new Go Red for Women public...
  • Blog Post: Jessica Diaz, Massachusetts

    Jessica Diaz is a slim 5’5” fitness instructor who appears to be the poster child of healthy. She is a young, active mom of two who teaches multiple Barre classes at yoga and sports clubs throughout Boston. She devotes hours every day to taking care of her health while helping others take...
  • Blog Post: A young life saved by CPR...

    Katarina Weigel is a survivor…She was just 15 when CPR saved her life. Now she is a college student…and is trying to save other lives. When you think heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, I bet you don’t picture a teenager. But sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anytime...
  • Blog Post: Miriam R. Plitt, Rhode Island

    We are very excited to share that Rhode Island Advocacy Committee member Miriam Plitt was recently inducted into the Pawtucket Hall of Fame in recognition of her volunteer work with the American Heart Association and many other important organizations. Congratulations Miriam and thank you for all that...
  • Blog Post: Chrissy Gaffney, Massachusetts

    Chrissy had open heart surgery at the age of 12 for an atrial septal defect and again at the age of 45. In 2011, while walking at the school track Chrissy began to feel pressure in her chest that was so intense, she describes that it felt like somebody was sitting on it. She didn’t think it had...
  • Blog Post: Dr. Sohah Iqbal, New York City

    Dr. Sohah Iqbal is the current president of the American Heart Association Young Professionals, an Interventional Cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, and a staunch advocate for CPR education in our city's high schools. Dr. Iqbal poignantly shares the story of two of her own patients who...
  • Blog Post: Dr. Charles Garbarino, New Jersey

    Dr. Charles Garbarino is a pediatrician, known to his patients as "Dr. Charlie." He has authored two books, "Pediatrician Soldier" and "One Heart-Embrace Life." Colonel Garbarino continues to serve his country as a member of the military and has deployed for three combat...
  • Blog Post: Arshad Iqbal, MD, Rhode Island

    Congratulations to Dr. Arshad Iqbal who was awarded the prestigious American Stroke Association Community Conscience Award at the recent NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium (NECC) Summit in Newport! The American Stroke Association Community Conscience Award is given annually to an individual that has...
  • Blog Post: Gracie Soultanian, Massachusetts

    After hearing Michael Ellsessar’s story, a 16-year-old who died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2010 after getting hit in the chest during a football game, Gracie Soultanian, then 12 now 13, decided she needed to do something. There are no warning signs for sudden cardiac arrest, allowing any athlete...
  • Blog Post: Deb Koziol, Rhode Island

    A heart defect she’d had since birth caused Debra Koziol to go into sudden cardiac arrest. Her husband’s CPR training—and a lifetime of keeping her heart healthy—saved her. Debra had spent her life trying to stay healthy. She exercised often and watched her diet. In her...
  • Blog Post: Kids with Heart...

    Kids with Heart...Do you know any kids that are working to make a difference? We do! Meet Molly Budzinski and Joey Mendrick. Molly just started her senior year at Orchard Park High School. Before heading back to school, Molly traveled from Buffalo to Albany to met with Governor Cuomo's Assistant...
  • Blog Post: Karen Aspry, M.D., M.S., ABCL, FACC, Rhode Island

    Karen Aspry, M.D., M.S., ABCL, FACC is the American Heart Association’s newest local Rhode Island Board of Directors member. Dr. Aspry’s education, training and clinical activities have been focused on preventive aspects of cardiovascular disease, especially in the area of diagnosis and management...
  • Blog Post: Randi Clatchey, Maine

    On Friday afternoon January 7, 2000, Joshua Peck passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest in the gym of his school. He was 17 years old, a fantastic basketball player and a senior who had already been accepted to two colleges. Josh performed in a skit at the school’s pep rally, changed his clothes...
  • Blog Post: Robbie MacCue: He may not wear a cape but he's still a hero.

    Robbie MacCue knows a thing or two about saving lives. As a paramedic, Robbie knows firsthand that CPR buys time for victims until first responders arrive at the scene. That’s why Robbie volunteers at local schools to teach students CPR. And this past month Robbie put his skills to good use by...
  • Blog Post: YOU!

    The American Heart Association recently launched its new brand “Life is Why.” We want people to experience more of life's precious moments. It's why we've made better heart and brain health our mission. And until there's a world free of heart disease and stroke, we'll...
  • Blog Post: Susan Canning, Massachusetts

    Sue Canning became an advocate because of her son Kevin. Kevin was born on April 8, 1992.Kevin was loved by everyone because he didn’t take life too seriously and was always trying to make people laugh. Kevin started playing sports very young, including hockey competitively from the age of 3 on...
  • Blog Post: Rachel Henry, Massachusetts

    Eleven years ago, at the age of 30, Rachel suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in her doctor's office during a routine checkup. Thankfully, her doctor knew what was happening and Rachel was able to receive immediate lifesaving care. It was a long road, but she always says that stroke changed her physically...
  • Blog Post: Arzhang Fallahi, New York City

    Dr. Arzhang Fallahi is a well-versed advocate for CPR training. While in medical school in Seattle, almost of the patients he saw would have received bystander CPR. Victims of sudden cardiac arrest would be running in a park one moment, and the runner behind them would be pushing on their chest the next...
  • Blog Post: Mended Little Hearts of Rhode Island

    The American Heart Association is proud to collaborate with Mended Little Hearts of Rhode Island to raise awareness of congenital heart defects. We are truly blessed to work with this amazing group of families and little heart heroes! Mended Little Hearts provides hope and support to children, families...
  • Blog Post: JoAnne & David Babbitt-Chatham, NJ

    JoAnne and David Babbitt founded the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation in 2007 in memory of their son John who died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2006 while playing basketball. He was 16. Since its inception, the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation has donated numerous Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)...
  • Blog Post: Scott Nevers, Maine

    It was the hottest day of the summer—July 27, 2013. Scott had just finished up a few days of golf at Sugarloaf and was playing in a double-header softball game in Saco. Scott looped a single. The next batter hit the ball hard and Scott headed for home. After scoring, he said he did not feel well...