Friday, December 12, 2008

Entire Hawaii Delegation Says "YES!" to FIT Kids

With the recent addition of Senator Akaka (D-HI) to the list of FIT Kids co-sponsors for the 110th Congress, Hawaii becomes the first state to have 100% support for the bill from their delegation! You're the Cure advocates in Hawaii can be proud that those who represent them on Capitol Hill have made the health our our kids a priority.

Visit to urge the legislators from your state to show their support too!

Friday, December 5, 2008

We Won!!

You’re the Cure on the Hill 2008 Named Nonprofit Advocacy Campaign of the Year!

At an awards ceremony Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, You’re the Cure on the Hill 2008 won the prestigious PRNews Nonprofit Award for the best Advocacy Campaign of the year! The award recognized the American Heart Association among a distinguished circle of organizations and you and the other outstanding advocates who came to Capitol Hill in April deserve all the credit.

PRNews recognized AHA for several noteworthy accomplishments including outstanding media coverage as well as mobilizing hundreds of advocates from across the country to generate an outpouring of support for the FIT Kids Act and increased funding for heart disease and stroke research and prevention programs. It was the presence, stories, and passion of our advocates that made You’re the Cure on the Hill something special- and we are so thrilled to have their hard work honored in this way!

Congratulations and Thank You!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Get Out and VOTE!

Election Day is now just 6 days away, and early voting has already begun in several states! Regardless of whether you prefer donkeys over elephants, or live in a red state vs. a blue state, we can all agree that we need to make our voice heard by voting. So, be sure to get to the polls on November 4th, and encourage family and friends to join you in performing our civic duty.

Heart Disease and Stroke. You're the Cure.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What do you think?

Last night I was glued to the t.v. watching the final the Presidential debate, anxious to hear a discussion on healthcare reform. I was thrilled to hear the candidates talking about the need for healthcare reform and even use key buzz words like “affordable healthcare” and “accessible healthcare”. Like you I am concerned about rising healthcare costs and the challenges many heart disease and stroke patients have affording the medical care they need. It’s time we address the issue and reinvent healthcare in America!

What do you think? Is healthcare reform a priority for the candidates? Are there questions you would have liked them to address? Will Americans demand leadership on healthcare reform from the next President?

Click ‘comment’ below and share your thoughts with me. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

-Clarissa Garcia, AHA Staff

The American Heart Association does not endorse any candidate or health plan. The opinions expressed in the comments section do not reflect the position of the Association.

Friday, September 26, 2008

HEART for Women Act Pass the House!

Great news! Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the HEART for Women Act by a 418-4 margin! Congratulations and thank you to all of our You’re the Cure advocates who have been instrumental in generating support for this important bill. To learn how your Representative voted, please visit and send a quick hand-written thank-you note if they voted in favor.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Have you heard?

Have you heard the good news? The House Energy and Commerce Committee just passed the HEART for Women Act! Now, the bill moves on to the full House of Representatives, which could vote as early as next week to pass the bill and send it to the Senate- so our Congressmen and Congresswomen need to hear from us now. Take action for the women close to your heart by sending your message of support for HEART for Women today.

Margaret Mead once said "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has"- and you and your fellow You're the Cure advocates prove that every day. Keep up the good work!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Workin’ 9 to 5 to for a National Workplace Wellness Week

Think about what your day at work entails in terms of physical activity. Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves sitting more and moving less at work. Since 1950, sedentary jobs have increased 83% in the United States, and obesity alone is costing American companies over $225 billion per year in health-related productivity losses.
Today, over 130 million Americans spend a significant part of their day at work, making the workplace environment one of the best opportunities to promote healthy habits for life; and healthy employees cost less, experience more satisfaction with their lives, and are more productive.
Together, with our employers and the government, we can and must work to address the health of working Americans through the promotion of workplace wellness initiatives. Currently, the American Heart Association strongly supports the National Workplace Wellness Week resolution, being considered in the House of Representatives. The designation of the first week of April as such a week would encourage private and public employers to voluntarily invest in the health of their employees through the creation of worksite health programs.
Urge your lawmakers to stand-up for the health of our workforce by cosponsoring the National Workplace Wellness Week resolution.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

These Sneakers are Made for Walking [and Talking]

This summer, advocates across the country have been putting their best foot forward for the FIT Kids Act wherever their summer travels are taking them! Advocates answered our call during the month of July to help us demonstrate the widespread support for FIT Kids to Congress, by submitting pictures of their active sneakers to post on our Sneaker Story Campaign map. Whether it was in your own backyard, a national park, or halfway around the world, your sneakers represent the thousands of Americans who have already stood up for physical education for our kids.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Advocate in Action-

Youth Advocate Exercises His Voice for Physical Education

On July 24th, the House of Representatives’ Education and Labor Committee held an important hearing to learn about the benefits of physical education for our nation’s children and the American Heart Association was proudly represented by Robert Keiser, an 18-year old advocate from Florida, and Dr. Russell Pate, Associate VP for Health Sciences and Professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina (watch Dr. Pate’s testimony on YouTube).
“I am here today because I believe that, by sharing my own personal story, I may help you find ways to help other children overcome their struggles with obesity,” Robert said during his testimony before committee members.
Having overcome his own battle with obesity as a child, Robert has sought to help other kids succeed, leading members of the Legislative Advisory Teen Council he helped establish to Tallahassee to lobby the state’s legislators in support of a physical education bill (which passed unanimously in the Florida House and Senate and was signed into law in May 2007). And now, he has turned his attention and passion toward urging Congress to support the FIT Kids Act.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thank You

A super big thank you to all the You're the Cure advocates who made this year's Lobby Day a success. On behalf of all your many staff partners I would like to thank you for your participation. Personally it was such a joy to meet so many of you in person and hear about your experiences meeting fellow advocates, joining the survivor luncheon, and taking part in legislative meetings. Your stories are truly inspiring and make theYou're the Cure on the Hill experience one to remember. Keep that enthusiasm as you are home and keep the pressure on your elected officials to make heart disease and stroke issues a priority. Together - You are the Cure! - Clarissa Garcia, AHA Staff

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cindy from Dallas, TX

This is my first Lobby Day. To meet so many people affected by heart disease and stroke puts the importance of this event into perspective. Read their stories below for a better understanding of the impact of heart disease and stroke, and to understand why funding for research and programs isn't an option, it's a must.

SCA Takes Over the Hill

Good morning! Members of the South Central Affiliate are headed to the Hill. Those of us who are members of the Texas Delegation are starting our day with visits to our Senators. You'd be amazed to see the number of You're the Cure Members who are wearing red and carrying their lobby day totes.

On a personal note, this is my 5th visit to DC for the AHA's lobby day and it is always a humbling event. As a staff member, it is easy to get caught up in operations or day-to-day tasks and forget why we do what we do. I am always inspired by volunteer advocates who make it a priority to spend time with us. And, I am always ready to tackle on more when we leave.

Stay tuned for more from those of us in the SCA! Thank you so much for being part of what we do and don’t forget to take pictures of your sneakers if you’re not in DC.

You’re the Cure,
Terri R. Broussard
Vice President, South Central Affiliate

2008 Lobby Day videos

Lobby Day has been eventful.

Check out some of this year’s attendees.

Cass Wheeler

Julia Valdez, Director
Government Affairs
New Mexico
American Heart Association American Stroke Association
South Central Affiliate
505.466.1321 Santa Fe
505.310.1677 Mobile
Do you know someone affected by heart disease or stroke?

join the You're the Cure network!


"Give Me 5" stroke check because time lost is brain lost:

WALK (Is their balance off?)

TALK (Is their speech slurred or face droopy?)

REACH (Is one side weak or numb?)

SEE (Is their vision all or partly lost?)

FEEL (Is their headache severe?)

P Only print this email if you absolutely have to.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ann Moser, Carlisle, PA

Due to an undetected clotting disorder and an autoimmune disease, I suffered a stroke at the age of 48. A year later I also had a tia.

After 7 years I appear to be free of symptoms, but appearances can be deceiving, and frustrating. Memory deficits, difficulties with multi-tasking, and follow-through, as well as treatment resistant depression, have left me unable to continue with my profession as a nursing home social worker. Yet, I feel lucky to be alive and recently celebrated my oldest daughter's wedding.

I recently started volunteering with the Capitol Region AHA in PA and raised close to $3500 in my first Heart/Stroke walk in October, 2007 with the assistance of my team "Annie's Striker's Against Stroke". I also had the privilege of serving on the committee of the Heart/Stoke Ball in February, and lobbying PA legislators in March.

I will continue to lobby for increased funding for the Prevention and Cure of stroke and heart related diseases. My hope is that future generations can lead long, productive lives without the prospect of an early "retirement" due to a disability similar to mine.

Jill "Captain Cardiac" Cawley

My countdown is: 4 by-passes, 3 stents, 2 MI's and a pacemaker at age 43. I'm glad to be active with the AHA and am having a wonderful time here in D. C. Looking forward to meeting with the members of Congress and asking them for continued (read increased) support of the cause.

Peter V Cornelis Wantagh,NY `11793

Survivor of 6 strokes over 17 years, Last stroke left me paralyzed on both sides. unable to talk, or eat for a year. They told my wife I would not amount to anything and be severely disabled. I now can do everything. It is wonderful to carry good news to you are the cure.

Bob Scott Woonsocket RI Heart Survivor

I experienced my first heart attack at age 48. I was playiny volleyball at the local YMCA. I got this awful chest pain which I thought was because I worked out earlier. I played three more games. On the last play of the third game I was very, very weak so I stopped playing. That night I visited my mom in the hospital and told my dad I was getting chest pains. He told me to go to the Emergancy room but instead of going I went out to eat. Later that night I woke up to what felt like someone hirt me with a sluge hammer, I woke my wife , told her to dress and take me to the hospital. Stupid me went to shower after the shower I told her to call the rescue and they transported me to the hospital where it was confirmed I was having a heart attack. This was in 1998 and that hospital did not have a cath lab. So after stablizing me I was brought to another hoospital in RI for a Cardiac Cath and they said I needed a stent. This hospital was not allowed to do stents, so I was transported back to the first hospital for another night and in the morning I was yet brought to andothe RI hospital for a stent implant. They also foud out that I experienced a silent Heart Attack and needed a Cardiac By-pass in October of 1999. Since then I have had two more heart attacks and now have four cardiac stents. I also have CHF and a Defibrillator/passer. I am President of the Mended Hearts at Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, RI Assistant Regional Director of the Northeast MH, National Advocacy Chairman MH and a member of AHA Doard of Directors. But best of all I am a You're the Cure Member and am amazed how my story does maake a difference.

Allyson Frazier, Watertown, MA

As a staff member I am consistently moved by the level of dedication and passion on display at You're the Cure on the Hill each year. Like most families my family knows too well the defaststaing effects of heart disease and stroke. It makes me proud to be part of such a amazing event, one that is sure to move members of Congress to do more to fight heart disease and stroke!

Childhood stoke survivor; Michelle Ballasiotes, IL

I had such a great experiance last year when I got to speak in front of about 300 people. I even told my mom I wish I spoke in front of more people. I had such a good time and met lots of nioe people. I'm exited to go to Capitol Hill again this year.

Michelle Ballasiotes, IL
Age 10, stroke before birth

Defect Survivor

My name is Grace Brown. At age 2 1/2, I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect known as Coarctation of the Aorta. At 3 1/2 years old I underwent heart surgery at UCSF Children's Hospital in San Francisco, CA. Although my surgery was successful for now, I continue to take high blood pressure medication and am under my pediatric cardiologists care. I am here at my first AHA Lobby Day to share with my CA elected officials my story. I am hoping to urge them to sign any legislation for heart disease research.
Survivor, Grace Brown from Antelope, CA

Curious about You're the Cure!!!

Wow, I can already sense all the excitement in the air here at the Hyatt in Washington, D.C. This being my first Lobby Day, I'm extremely curious about what lies ahead of me in the next few days! I'm new at blogging so this should be an interesting experience!

Meghan Grady
Director, State Health Alliances-RI

Lobby Day with the AHA

Hi Everyone! This is Jared Fogle, spokesperson for Subway Restaurants. I am very excited to be involved with this years Lobby Day effort on Capital Hill. It's a great feeling to get involved this way to help end Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. Hopefully through my story of weight loss, I can help make sure our Congressional members realize what an important cause this is!

See everyone at Capital Hill!!

Jared Fogle

CRP class this morning

It has been quite some time since I have thought about or for that matter even taken a course in CPR, forgeting how important or even life saving it can be. This morning I participated in a CPR class here in DC that only took 22 minutes and reminded me how important it is to know how to perform this valuable method on someone who is sufficating or dying. Thank goodness the American Heart Association is here to remind us of how and what we can do to help others in need. I really enjoyed the class and the folks kind enough to volunteer.

CPR Before Breakfast

That's right, the new CPR Anywhere program was so quick to learn that we did it before breakfast at the AHA Heart on the Hill Event. That got me thinking- if we can do it that fast and easy why not install a teaching station in our University Recreation Center. With the new Laerdal Mini Anne the logistics are very easy to set up and tear down. Good stuff.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The First State (Delaware) is proud to bring its not so small voice to Capitol Hill

The Delaware delegation of Youre the Cure advocates is very excited about informing our Congressional Delegation on the importance of physical education and activity for Delaware students, funding for state prevention programs and federal research support, and the need to focus attention in this state, and the entire country on the nations number one killer, heart disease. Were bringing a group of both seasoned and new advocates, each with their own story and reason for having a passion for the AHA’s mission. None of us are physicians (at least not currently in active practice), but we can and will be curing people across American on Tuesday, April 29th as we spread our message in the halls of Washington.


Jonathan Kirch


CT YTC volunteers in Washington, D.C.

CT Delegation in Washington, DC!

April is my favorite month of the year for many reasons. The weather is beautiful, my birthday is the 8th and I get to go to Washington, D.C. By far, the AHA's Annual Lobby Day is my favorite legislative activity for the year !

I get to see old friends and spend quality time with the You're the Cure volunteers from CT. It's not just about our Hill meetings that makes this event so special to me but also the conversations we share with one another walking from meeting to meeting. Lobby Day tends to be a jam packed event, a marathon cardiovascular endurance test (we tend to walk a bit!) but it is the most meaningful day for me out of the year. When it's done not only have we made a difference on the Hill but in our own lives.

I'll see you all in DC. Safe travels.

Joni Czajkowski
Senior Director of Advocacy
Founder's Affiliate, serving Connecticut

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Great Time to be Had By All!

How exciting that this year's You're the Cure on the Hill is just a few days away! I know I speak for a lot of staff out there who look forward to this event every bit as much as our trusted advocates!! There is an energy unlike any other when so many people join together for a common cause with passion and dedication. I am proud to be part of this event and look forward to the good times and memories to be had!

See you all there!

~Amanda Ptashkin, Grassroots Director PA/DE

We are excited to be coming to DC

North Carolina You’re the Cure advocates are excited about our upcoming trip to Washington, DC and are looking forward to seeing everyone at lobby day. Together we are going to make a difference and help build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Betsy Vetter

Director of Government Relations

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome to You're the Cure on the Hill 2008

Hi all you You're the Cure advocates. Greetings from Washington, D.C. As one of the many staff working behind the scenes to offer You're the Cure on the Hill 2008, the American Heart Association's annual lobby day, I can't tell you how excited we all are to see so many of you in town for what is sure to be an amazing two day adventure. This year is another record breaking year with over 650 advocates in town wearing red and ready to ask our lawmakers to make heart disease and stroke programs a priority this year. I hope to meet many of you in person at our training sessions, events, and on the Hill to thank you for all you do as an advocate.

I'd encourage you to write a message on our first ever You're the Cure blog and share your thoughts on how it's going in Washington DC. It's that simple, type a message to your fellow advocates and let them know how your day is going. I'll be doing the same during our time together and ask you to join me in spreading the You're the Cure message. Have a great time, stay dry, rest, learn, and most of all enjoy your time with volunteers from across the country. All the best – Clarissa GarcĂ­a (AHA Staff)