Let your voice be heard …

You're the cure advocate

As a community member of the Advocacy Group, I wanted to share Kristen’s story. 

– I was just 33 years old when I had my stroke. One day I was training for my second half-Ironman triathlon, the next day I woke up in intensive care with the right side of my body completely paralyzed. In a matter of hours, my whole life changed.

But I didn’t let it slow me down.

Through four months of rehabilitation, I relearned simple tasks, like tying my shoes. And I am proud to say that I just laced up my sneakers and finished a half-marathon earlier this month.

My experience is why I am making the journey to Washington, DC in ten days to ask my legislators to increase access to telestroke care. But I can’t do this alone. Will you join me by messaging your lawmakers to support the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act?

Telestroke connects patients to stroke specialists, especially where there are shortages of neurologists. Research shows this technology improves patients’ access to the clot-busting drug tPA during a stroke, which can reduce disability and speed up recovery. For me, access to tPA was how I was able to put my shoes back on and compete again.

I cannot wait to share my journey with our elected officials, but I need to know you’re with me.

 

Amplify my voice today!

Kristen Powers “You’re the Cure” Advocate –

American Heart/American Stroke Association.

 

advocacydc@heart.org

 

A Change of Heart

heart failure

Nearly six million Americans live with heart failure.

 cited; “Rise Above Heart Failure”

Heart failure is a serious condition, and usually there’s no cure. But many people with heart failure lead full, and enjoyable lives when the condition is diagnosed and managed with proper medication and lifestyle changes.

 

How the normal heart works

The normal healthy heart is a strong, muscular pump a little larger than a fist. It pumps blood continuously through the circulatory system.

The heart has four chambers, two on the right and two on the left:

  • Two upper chambers called atria (one is an atrium)
  • Two lower chambers called ventricles

The right atria takes in oxygen-depleted blood from the rest of the body and sends it back out to the lungs through the right ventricle where the blood becomes oxygenated.

Oxygen-rich blood travels from the lungs to the left atrium, then on to the left ventricle, which pumps it to the rest of the body.

The heart pumps blood to the lungs and to all the body’s tissues by a sequence of highly organized contractions of the four chambers. For the heart to function properly, the four chambers must beat in an organized way.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood through to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Basically, the heart can’t keep up with its workload.

At first the heart tries to make up for this by:

  • Enlarging. When your heart chamber enlarges, it stretches more and can contract more strongly, so it pumps more blood. With an enlarged heart, your body starts to retain fluid, your lungs get congested with fluid and your heart begins to beat irregularly.
  • Developing more muscle mass. The increase in muscle mass occurs because the contracting cells of the heart get bigger. This lets the heart pump more strongly, at least initially.
  • Pumping faster. This helps to increase the heart’s output.

The body also tries to compensate in other ways:

  • The blood vessels narrow to keep blood pressure up, trying to make up for the heart’s loss of power.
  • The body diverts blood away from less important tissues and organs (like the kidneys), the heart and brain.

These temporary measures mask the problem of heart failure, but they don’t solve it. Heart failure continues and worsens until these substitute processes no longer work.

Eventually the heart and body just can’t keep up, and the person experiences the fatigue, breathing problems or other symptoms that usually prompt a trip to the doctor.

The body’s compensation mechanisms help explain why some people may not become aware of their condition until years after their heart begins its decline. (It’s also a good reason to have a regular checkup with your doctor.)

Heart failure can involve the heart’s left side, right side or both sides. However, it usually affects the left side first.

Let’s Walk …

get 1 done a

cited; heartwalkla.org

For 90 years Heart Disease has been the #1 reason we lose our loved ones. Changing the rank of heart disease begins “one” step at a time.

Let 2016 be the year you join the thousands in their dedication to living a healthier lifestyle, and building a healthier community.

Find a Heart Walk in your community and register today!!!

 

 

February 2016

Heart Month

Get started today, to a healthier you ~ Life is Why!

 

You up for the Challenge?…

 Life is Why “Family Health Challenge

Take the 4 week challenge – to make simple fast and healthy choices for you and your family.

The White House declared September to be National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in order to educate on and promote healthier eating and increased physical activity by all the Nation’s children.

Childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1963. Today, 1 in 3 kids is considered obese. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults.

Parents, you can help your kids have a healthy childhood and teach them healthy habits to take into adulthood. Try serving a plate of colorful food, swapping sugar-sweetened beverages for natural infused water, staying away from the Salty 6, and making sure your kids stay physically active. cited; HEARTORG

Walking Together to Save Lives …

Heart Walk

Photo Credit: AHA

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family.

Get started now!

See more at: Heart Walk 2015 – 2016

Why we “Walk” …

The American Heart Association

Heart Walk 2015-2016

expenditures

Annual Expenditures

Community

We’re making your community healthier by advocating for key issues such as:

  • Smoke-free public places
  • More walkable and bikable streets, roads and parks
  • Better nutrition and high-quality physical education in our schools
  • Adequate, affordable and available health care for all

Healthcare

We’re improving the quality of care for heart and stroke patients by:

  • Training millions of Americans in CPR, advanced life support, AED (defibrillator) use and first aid; promoting AED placement in businesses and public places
  • Improving emergency care for heart attack victims through our Mission: Lifeline community-based initiative
  • Helping hospitals treat cardiac and stroke patients according to proven guidelines using our Get With The Guidelines® program
  • Strengthening stroke systems of care, teaching the public to respond to warning signs, and providing resources for stroke survivors and caregivers

Education

We’re reaching at-risk populations through cause initiatives and online tools:

Research

Nationwide, we invest over $132 million a year ($3.2 billion since 1949) in heart and stroke research that has led to recent breakthroughs such as clot-busting drugs and drug-eluting stents. Healthcare providers learn about medical advances and new treatment guidelines though our journals, conferences and online courses.

Article cited; The American Heart Association

Heart Association

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