When you meet Keith Ahrens, a You’re the Cure advocate from Nevada, you are immediately drawn in by his passion to inspire others to live healthier lives. After suffering a heart attack, undergoing open heart surgery, and losing 200 lbs by changing his diet and exercise routine, he knows firsthand how critical it is to advocate for changes that promote prevention.
Keith has advocated for smoke-free regulations, bans on trans fats, and other nutrition issues within his state- and in April, he came to Washington, DC to lobby for NIH research funding and the FIT Kids Act. He has even taken his advocacy efforts 35,000 feet in the air! While on his return flight to Nevada from DC, he recognized Representative Shelley Berkley on his plane and took the opportunity to share his story and ask for her support for our issues.
Ask Keith which of the advocacy campaigns he’s been involved with that he thought was most significant and he says, “That’s a really tough question – there have been so many! Giving testimony to the Nevada Assembly. Standing in front of the Capital with my arms raised, knowing that we were there to deliver a message. They’ve all been important. The advocacy in the moment is the most important thing. It could seem big or little at the time but there’s always so much potential.”
In addition to influencing lawmakers, Keith also inspires his peers to take action, whether it is through his work as an author, motivational speaker and fitness trainer, or virtually through social media.
As Keith says, “You may not think you are an advocate, but chances are you are if you’re paying attention to the issues. It’s just a matter of how soft or how loud you want your voice to be. You’re the Cure is the best vehicle for a small person to let their voice be heard very big. It empowers you to go to a level you never thought possible.”