Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You're the Cure on the Hill Advocate Spotlight: Michaela Gagne

As You're the Cure on the Hill 2009 approaches, we continue to profile some of the remarkable advocates who will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers on behalf of heart and stroke patients. Today, meet... Michaela Gagne from Massachusetts!

As a student at Durfee High School, Michaela was a top scholar-athlete and graduated in the Top 10 of her class of 500 students. She was a three-sport varsity athlete, participating in basketball, soccer and track and field. During her senior year, she was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, a genetic cardiac condition that is especially dangerous for athletes because of the way it causes a response to stress on the heart. Michaela did not let her diagnosis slow her down, in June 2006 Michaela was named Miss Massachusetts. Given her experiences with Long QT Syndrome, combined with an exemplary positive outlook relative to a life changing event, Michaela used her profile as Miss Massachusetts to highlight her platform, women and heart disease. Michaela has been selected by the American Heart Association to serve as an official National Go Red for Women spokesperson. She has taken this role very seriously by being a compassionate speaker willing to share her story at Federal Lobby Day as well as a special HEART for Women Act briefing in Washington DC. Michaela also continues to make the public aware of sudden arrhythmia death syndromes and their lethality, and is a dedicated advocate ensuring that Automated Cardiac Defibrillators (AED’s) are mandatory in public schools throughout Massachusetts. Michaela has been an outstanding champion for the placement of AED’s. AHA could not ask for a better spoken, compassionate and dedicated advocate for the cause. Michaela was an instrumental advocate for Kayla’s law, requiring all health clubs to have AED’s in Massachusetts. Michaela’s background in education has given her insight in helping with the placement of AED’s in schools.

Stay tuned for more You're the Cure on the Hill advocate profiles throughout the week...

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