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!

Friday, December 2, 2011


December 2011

Dear Friend of Heart:

Our Scientific Sessions was held last month in Orlando, Fla. This international conference showcases ground-breaking research and clinical trials with 22,000 medical professionals. The news is then fed to the media where it will reach millions more. A huge undertaking, Scientific Sessions is critical to learning more about the causes of cardiovascular diseases and how to better diagnose, treat and prevent them.

The conference will lead to developments in science that will touch every community across the country and abroad. Such outcomes would not be possible without volunteers and partners who share our vision of what an investment in research, science and education can mean to everyone.
Can you imagine a world free of heart disease and stroke? Erica Chapman can. She is a survivor who works in our West Michigan office. As a congenital valve replacement patient, she had her first surgery at four days old. Now in her 30s, she’s had another operation to update her current aortic valve, and will require further surgery in the next 15-20 years. Erica knows from the research we fund today that the next surgery will probably use mainly non-invasive techniques, for which she is grateful. She is amazed at the vision researchers have for her procedures.

With your help, we can make those visions a reality. Consider making a personal gift or including the American Heart Association in your will or estate plan. You will leave a legacy that will fund research and education, benefiting patients like Erica long after you’re gone. To learn more, visit

I also want to take a moment to reflect on how the gifts and efforts of so many have improved and saved lives in 2011. We were able to fund research that may someday save the life of someone you know. We educated hundreds of thousands of people about their health and risk factors. And we worked hard to teach millions of Midwesterners critical CPR skills, educate legislators in our 11 states on our policy priorities, and improve hospital patient care processes so that a supportive and effective system will be in place when you or your loved one is in need.

None of this vision would be possible without you and your support. In short, you are helping to save lives. At this season of giving, I want to thank you for your involvement from the bottom of my heart.

Warm regards,

Kevin Harker
Executive Vice President, Midwest Affiliate

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