AHA staffer Dawn McCutcheon travels across Western Washington bringing AHA’s Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Hearts curriculum and fundraising program to elementary and middle schools. She is a familiar face to PE teachers, principals and students alike. While it would be easy for anyone to stay focused just on the scope of their professional responsibility, Dawn has aligned her personal passion for heart health with AHA’s legislative efforts in Olympia.
Dawn’s commitment comes from a very personal place:
I am a survivor, a mother and a working woman. I live with heart disease every day. In 2009 I was hospitalized for a viral infection and my heart stopped. Thankfully I was revived. The cause of my sudden cardiac arrest was the result of a malfunction in my heart's electrical system. As is the case for many people, doctors aren’t sure why. So, I rely on a pacemaker to keep my heart beating regularly. I recently turned 40; I am proof that heart disease can strike at any age.
This past year Dawn put her passion to work passing Washington’s CPR in Schools bill. Knowing firsthand the importance of CPR and AEDs, Dawn shared her personal story with legislators at AHA’s Lobby Day and urged them to support CPR in Schools. Not only did Dawn bring her message to legislators inside the Capitol, but as she traveled across the state she regularly responded to urgent email action alerts keeping up the conversation with her lawmakers electronically. It was a thrill for Dawn to see the Legislature pass this lifesaving legislation!
Linking her professional work and personal passion, Dawn’s commitment to building healthier communities in Washington is clear.
What might you do to further your passion for You’re the Cure and health policy in Washington?