By Kat Dons, Guest Blogger
When the holidays near, we are reminded to be grateful during this giving season. It is the season of giving gifts, of giving time, of giving good will…and most importantly, of giving thanks.
As a volunteer, I want to thank every person who has supported the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Perhaps it’s a donation, attending a Heart Walk, championing a healthy change or supporting your child in a Jump Rope For Heart program. No matter how you’ve shown support, I want you to know that you have made a difference.
At age 22, it was discovered that I had an aortic arch aneurysm. It took 13 hours for doctors to repair the aneurysm and I have over 38 inches of scars to show for it. I was able to return to college to pursue a graduate degree in Physician Assistant Studies so that I can treat patients and help spread awareness. I am also proud to be a mom of two wonderful boys.
I am grateful for the advancements in the treatment of heart disease and stroke because of research. We’ve seen workplaces make a shift toward workplace wellness to support the health of employees. We’ve witnessed children saving lives because they’ve learned CPR. We’ve heard the push of making the healthy choice the easy choice for all Americans.
Thank you for the support that you’ve given and for the support you will give as we move forward to a day where heart disease and stroke are no more. And if you are interested in supporting the American Heart Association, consider volunteering, participating at an event or making a donation at www.heart.org/donate.
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.