By Emily Straley, Guest Blogger
When the holidays are 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.
I was born with a congenital heart defect. At three months old, I had open-heart surgery. Since then I have had numerous cardiac catherizations with the most recent one when I was 20 years old. But going through open heart surgery or catherizations has not stopped me from graduating college with a degree in American Studies nor has it stopped me from dancing or going to see Broadway Musicals with my friends.
I am thankful for the research the American Heart Association funds. With their help there has been numerous advancements in the technology and treatment used for heart disease and stroke. Most importantly, to me, with this research we are able to correct more congenital heart defects. The American Heart Association has been able to raise awareness of heart disease by getting more involved in the schools where children learn that eating right and exercise are important to a healthy life. The information and legislation they get involved in has helped raise awareness and support wellness programs within the workplace.
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.