After my heart attack in late 2016 I wanted to get involved with helping other survivors cope with their fears and anxieties from their cardiac event. But that interest had to be put on the back burner once I initiated my search for my biological past in order to understand my genetics. Throughout 2017 I was completely consumed by my search and eventual reunion with my birth parents and three half-sisters. Helping heart attack survivors didn’t happen.
Going into 2018 one of my New Year’s resolutions was to focus on channeling energy into driving awareness and preventative action to save people from cardiovascular disease. I had to find a way to get plugged into that scene. Fortunately for me, a good friend of mine introduced me to the team at the Greater Bay Area affiliate of the American Heart Association. I was thrilled for the opportunity to meet people at the AHA to explore how we could partner together to help save lives but was admittedly anxious if working directly with survivors like me was going to be interesting to them or something they normally do. I went into that initial meeting guns blazing and I hoped they would appreciate my passion and reciprocate.
I’ve got to be honest, the team I have gotten to know are truly wonderful, supportive, caring and full of energy and ideas! What great partners! This is one amazing team and they do so much to help rid the world of heart disease and stroke. Maria Olson, Jill DiGiacomo, Laura Steinfeldt, Terry Mock, Lizzie Velten, I worship the ground you walk on and I cannot thank you enough for all that you do to help people like me.
Did you know that through their national fundraising, awareness efforts and policy work, the AHA has helped reduce the mortality rate 70.7% for cardiovascular disease (1968-2015)? Did you know that their efforts have contributed to the reduction in stroke mortality 34.4% (2002-2012) and they train approximately twenty-two million people in CPR globally…each year? Check out heart.org to learn more about their awesome agenda and work.
Even the local Greater Bay Area team has had over 370,000 bay area employees participate in workplace wellness programs, over 2,400 people were trained in the AHA’s Hands Only CPR. Even better, over 33,000 patients in the bay area were reached with improved quality care! Follow their work through their social media pages below!
For someone like me, the AHA is a complete badass in taking the fight to cardiovascular disease and the team at the Greater Bay Area affiliate are my heroes. I am so excited to work with them to help drive awareness and action to enable others to live happy and heart healthy lives!
I heart heart.org, and I hope you do too.