New Jersey youth advocate shares family’s heart story.

By: Olivia, Age 10, Guest Blogger and Youth Market Advocate, American Heart Association

Hello, my name is Olivia. There are two people in my life that have had heart problems, my pop-pop, and my Lolo (that’s grandfather in Tagalog, I’m ½ Filipino). My Lolo passed away a year ago, my Pop-Pop is still here.

Olivia with Lolo and Lola

MY LOLO’S STORY. My Lolo’s story of heart problems was that he first had a heart attack. He kept having to go to the hospital many times after his heart attack because he kept having trouble.  We knew the doctors and nurses did everything they could do but they weren’t able to help him anymore, his heart was too weak.  My Lolo’s birthday is a few days before mine, and we used to celebrate together.  When I was little I did not like having to share a cake with him, but I always liked having our family birthday BBQ together.   We miss Lolo.

Olivia and Pop Pop

MY POP-POPS STORY. My Pop-Pop’s heart problems started when I was little, I think I was 5.   I remember him saying he had a frog in his throat sometimes when I was little.  I thought he meant an actual frog! But I was so young I didn’t understand what he meant so when I heard he was going in for surgery I thought he was going to get a frog removed but it was a triple bypass surgery…not a frog. Because of that surgery he can stay longer to watch me grow and come to my dance competitions, see me win awards, go to the boardwalk together, and so much more.  I’m glad he is still here with us.

What happens when people donate to Jump Rope for Heart and the American Heart Association? When you donate to the Heart Association it goes to little kids and older people for surgeries, medications, and care!   But that’s not all the money does, it goes to research to figure out solutions and education to help kids like me teach their family how to take care of their heart. The money helps so many people be able to stay here with us and make more memories together.

For more information and to get involved with one of our youth market programs visit,

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