Robbie Levine has been gone from his family for as many years as he was alive – 9

Reason No. 11:

The Foundation a Merrick family founded in honor of their son has trained thousands in CPR

In September 2005, Robbie Levine was rounding the bases during a Little League game when his heart stopped.

“Robbie was 9 when he died of a sudden cardiac arrest – that was 9 years ago,” said his mother, Jill Levine, of Merrick. “He’s been gone as long as we had him here with us, and we still miss him.”

“We started The Robbie Levine Foundation to honor his memory,” said Robbie’s father, Dr. Craig Levine. “Our foundation has sponsored free CPR and AED trainings, and we have trained thousands of people in CPR and AED use.  These include coaches, parents, and even students in their middle and high schools.”

“We urge the state Legislature to pass the CPR in Schools bill this year,” Jill Levine said. “If we train an army of lifesavers, we can reduce the grim statistic that brings too much pain to too many people.”

Robbie Levine is Reason No. 11 in the American Heart Association’s “So Many Reasons” campaign urging New York lawmakers to pass the CPR in Schools bill.

On Tuesday, June 3, Robbie’s parents will be among the  nearly 100 volunteers with the American Heart Association at the CPR Rally in the Well of the Legislative Office Building to call for passage of the CPR in Schools bill, to unveil a survivors gallery and memorial gallery, and to provide a mass CPR demonstration.

The CPR Rally is part of the “So Many Reasons” campaign that the American Heart Association launched on Monday, May 5. Each legislative session day, the American Heart Association shares a real story of a New Yorker impacted by sudden cardiac arrest.

Lawmakers receive a one-page document with a photo of someone saved by CPR, someone lost to sudden cardiac arrest, or someone who lost a loved one to sudden cardiac arrest. The same is being sent to statewide media, and shared on the American Heart Association’s social media sites, primarily the facebook page American Heart Association – New York State.

“The faces of sudden cardiac arrest will surprise you,” said Dan Moran, president of Next-Act and chair of the American Heart Association’s New York State Advocacy Committee. “No one is immune. More than 400,000 people nationwide suffer sudden cardiac arrest…and nearly 90 percent die.  It’s time to change this.  CPR can more than double your chances of survival. The people in the ‘So Many Reasons’ campaign aren’t just numbers.  They are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends.”

An updated version of the CPR in Schools legislation (A9298/S7096) has recently been introduced by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, and Senator Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo. The bill is currently in the Education Committees in both houses.

“CPR is a lifesaving solution,” said Weisenberg. “As a former police officer, school administrator and lifeguard, I know firsthand that we need bystander CPR to save lives. Many people are alive today because individuals trained in CPR — including youth and adults who received that training in school — gave someone CPR until EMTs arrived. I’m committed to passing the CPR in Schools bill so that we can create a generation in which New Yorkers are prepared to save lives.”

“Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills are among the most critical lifesaving skills that make our communities safer, year after year, said Grisanti. “It’s time to add New York to the growing list of states that have passed this legislation. I’m honored to sponsor the CPR schools legislation in the New York State Senate and I am proud to work in partnership with the American Heart Association and families in western New York to help make this bill become a law.”

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