Friday, April 17, 2009

You're the Cure on the Hill Advocate Spotlight: Stephanie Dempsey

I can't believe it's almost here- You're the Cure on the Hill 2009! We continue to share stories of advocates who will be joining us in Washington D.C. to ask Members of Congress to prioritize healthcare reform and fund heart disease and stroke research and prevention programs. Today, meet... Stephanie Dempsey from South Carolina!

Stephanie Dempsey is 37 years old and a heart disease survivor from Varnville, South Carolina. In November of 2000 at the age of 30 she underwent quadruple bypass surgery for severely blocked arteries due to high cholesterol. Over the past seven years Stephanie has had placement of multiple stents and in September of 2007 she once again had to undergo bypass surgery.

Stephanie’s heart disease is hereditary and has impacted all of the women in her family. Stephanie’s only sister died at the age of 28 from heart disease. Her mother, who is 63, underwent quadruple bypass, and her grandmother died in 1997 from heart disease.

Stephanie’s story is powerful. It is one that demonstrates heart disease can affect women at any age. For the past several years, Stephanie has been an enthusiastic volunteer for the American Heart Association. She serves as a Red Dress Ambassador for a local hospital and actively seeks out community groups to educate women about the impact of heart disease. In addition to her outreach in her community, Stephanie is a passionate You’re the Cure advocate and has attended AHA’s federal lobby day for the past three years.

Stephanie goes through rigorous treatment for her disease, but she is always a trooper and shows up when she is needed. She knows she is making a difference, and she calls being an AHA advocate her job.

Stephanie’s experience helps to show why the American Heart Association and its volunteers are advocating for more research, education, and screening to help prevent and cure heart disease, stroke, and other types of cardiovascular disease, the No.1 killer of women in South Carolina and the United States.

Stay tuned for a few more You're the Cure on the Hill advocate profiles before we all arrive in D.C. Monday...

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