Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Federal Lobby Day Attendee Shares His Story

Attending the American Heart Association’s 2009 Congressional Federal Lobby Day, You’re the Cure on the Hill, with volunteers from across the nation was only a beginning. First, it was an opportunity for me to act on my personal commitment to make a heart-healthy society the norm for generations to come. As a heart attack survivor I was able to share my story so that policymakers know that the laws they pass can and do make a difference. They need to hear from all of us that the funding they give to important initiatives like the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support research and prevention is changing American lives. In this time of tight budgets we have to remind them that sustained funding for the NIH and CDC are needed to ensure the future health of the nation.

I was fortunate to meet with members of our legislative delegation either in person or through key legislative aides. They all want to hear from constituents about issues that are important and should be addressed this session. Once they reach the beltway they often feel isolated and are actually excited to hear from people back home.

If you are reading this blog you are likely already interested in heart-health and promoting a healthy lifestyle. So I am asking you to make your own beginning and do three things:

* Become a part of the You're the Cure network and act on the action alerts you receive.
* Tie your action to your story, a family members' or a close friend or colleague.' story. We have all been touched by heart disease or stroke.
* Get out of your comfort zone and share your story with neighbors, colleagues and anyone who may listen. You never know you may inspire someone to take action!!

Mark Olson
Chair, American Heart Association State Advocacy Committee

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