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!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Send a Message from Your Heart for the Holidays...

Our advocacy efforts can make a greater impact with legislators when the message comes from the heart -- from people whose families have been touched by heart disease or stroke, or have a personal stake in this fight to save lives. Do you know someone who is passionate about heart and stroke issues? Have you invited them to join our You're the Cure Network?

This holiday season, we're asking you to take a couple of minutes to recruit your friends and family to join our You're the Cure Network.
Follow the link below to log in to You're the Cure and click on the Tell a Friend Link to personalize your message to friends and family today:

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting our You're the Cure Network and for all you've done to help the American Heart Association save lives.

We can't spell CURE, without "U".
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

TAKE ACTION! Resolve to Make Minnesota Heart Healthy in 2010!

2010 is fast approaching and with a new year comes new opportunities to make Minnesota a healthier place to live.

The Minnesota Legislature will convene on Feb. 4th, 2010. Follow the link below to contact your Representative, Senator, and Governor Pawlenty about the heart healthy policies they should make a priority in 2010:

Resolve to Make Minnesota Heart Healthy in 2010

In 2010, your American Heart Association will be working with legislators on three top priorities:

1. Increasing the price of tobacco in Minnesota to build a more comprehensive approach to helping Minnesotans quit smoking and prevent people from starting altogether.

2. Creating statewide standards for physical education in our state. Overweight /obesity are a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the leading cause of death in Minnesota. PE Standards in schools will teach our children the importance of exercise.

3. Passing a statewide Complete Streets policy in 2010. A Complete Streets policy means that our streets and roadways will be safer and more accessible for pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists, and drivers--all users, regardless of age or ability. With safer commutes and walkable/bikable paths, more Minnesotans will have the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Resolve to Make Minnesota Heart Healthy in 2010

We wish you a happy holiday season and thank you for all you continue to do to support a healthy lifestyle in Minnesota!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You're Invited: Participate in a Health Care Reform Discussion Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, our National You're the Cure Network will be hosting a call entitled: Health Care Reform in the Senate and Beyond.

The call is tomorrow from 1-2pm CST.

You're invited to join the AHA's CEO Nancy Brown, and Chairman of the Board Neil Meltzer for this important call!

RSVP Today by Following this Link: RSVP for HealthCare Reform Call!

Please make sure to dial in a few minutes early -- an operator will ask for your name before connecting you to the call.

During the call, you will hear directly from volunteer and staff leaders about the progress being made in the Senate, the work left ahead, and how you can continue to work with the AHA to ensure affordable, accessible, and adequate health care is achieved. There will also be time for you to pose questions to the speakers and share your own story that illustrates the need for reform.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Study shows overwhelming parent support for healthier schools

A study conducted for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation by KRC Research found that more than 92 percent of parents consider physical education and health education as important as English, math and science instruction. Furthermore, 96 percent of parents believe that physical activity can boost their children’s classroom performance, and virtually all parents (99 percent) recognize that healthy eating also has a positive effect on learning.

The vast majority of parents want schools to limit students' access to high-calorie chips, sodas and candy and to offer them opportunities for physical activity throughout the day, a new survey by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation shows. The national survey signals the breadth of parents' support for changes to make schools healthier places—and their willingness to help make those changes happen. In fact, nearly eight in 10 parents are ready to get more involved to create a healthier environment in their local schools.

More information on the study can be found at

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thank you, Barbara Vinson, for Giving Your Time and Advocating for a Healthier Tomorrow!

Volunteers from across our You're the Cure Network have been sharing their stories with us about why they advocate for the American Heart Association.

Read Barbara Vinson's story below:

The answer is a simple one. I have congestive heart failure for which I have been treated a good eight years. I believe it both necessary and valuable to be aware of any changes occurring with my heart, and it's paid off. Only last year I acquired a pacemaker because suddenly, I could hardly get my breath. If I could keep on top of any progress made for the heart by both associations, then you never know--I could extend my own life and perhaps help a friend or a relative to be aware of any suspicious changes in their heart. I only wish I could have helped my brother.

-Barbara H. Vinson
Winton, MN

Thank you, Barbara, for all you do as an advocate and for sharing your story with us.

Do you have a story to share? Do you want to be picked as a feature for our blog? Send us your story by e-mailing today!

So many of us are affected by heart disease and stroke. That's why our advocacy network, You're the Cure, provides you with an opportunity to fight back and tell your legislators why these issues are so important to you. Join You're the Cure TODAY, by logging on at !

Monday, December 7, 2009

Is MN Missing the Boat With No Physical Education Standards?

Public News Service-MN
November 23, 2009

Is MN Missing the Boat With No Physical Education Standards?

MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota is one of just three states in the entire country that don't have statewide physical education standards in schools; such standards currently are up to local districts. University of Minnesota professor Dr. Marti Kubik says many kids aren't getting the physical activity they need, and a new study from Germany reinforces the crucial nature of such exercise. The study of children in lower socio-economic circumstances found that daily physical activity resulted in significant health improvements.

Kubik says Minnesota kids aren't getting the daily doses of exercise they need.

"The opportunity to mandate policy and standards would certainly benefit the health of our youth and is something that, as Minnesotans, we really need to give serious consideration to."

Kubik says Minnesota data shows that only 25 percent of boys in 12th grade get 30 minutes of daily exercise, and only 10 percent of girls do.

She adds that supporting physical activity in youth is the best gift we can give them for life.

"We're missing the boat when we are not providing them the physical and the social support to make that happen during their childhood and adolescent period."

Senator Al Franken is sponsoring the "FIT Kids Act." He's in Washington right now debating the health care reform bill, and says this falls in line with what health reform is all about.

"If you're going to do health reform you have to put physical education and you have to put nutrition into that, and the best to place to start is school. We've just seen a growing epidemic of childhood obesity and it's happening here in Minnesota."

The supports the "FIT Kids Act" to ensure that quality physical activity is incorporated into school curricula.

According to the AHA, Minnesota dropped in ranking from the healthiest state in the nation in 2006 to number four in 2008, with the change based in part on the increase in obesity.

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