Advocates in Action

Updated:Oct 25,2012

Everyday people like you are making a difference. See what others are doing as part of  You're the Cure and share your reason for making a difference too!

Advocate Spotlight

Haskew Family editEric and Tina Haskew and their three kids, Sarah, Daniel and Noah, know first-hand that research saves lives. That’s because Daniel and Noah were born with congenital heart defects.

Daniel was born with critical aortic stenosis and atrial septal defect (ASD) and was only 36 hours old when he went into congestive heart failure and was life-flighted to Tulane University Children’s Hospital in New Orleans for open heart surgery. Noah was also born with ASD, ventricular septal defect (VSD), and a bicuspid aortic valve. However, thanks to the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of their conditions, they are both healthy, young boys today.
Now, the family of advocates shares their story to help advance research. “Without a doubt I've enjoyed the speaking events the most,” says Tina. “I can't tell you how many people have come up to me afterwards and said how moved they were by our story. This is where the difference is made. When people can see firsthand what research has done, they are more willing to help, and the more they help, the more research can be done.”

In March 2010, the Haskews flew to Washington, DC to share their story with their Alabama legislators to advocate for increased funding for research through the National Institutes of Health. Eric and Tina have also been very active with their community Heart Walk, raising thousands of dollars to support research and AHA programs, as well as participating in Go Red for Women luncheons and speaking on behalf of the Association at their local hospitals.

The family says they will continue to do what they can to advance research. In November, Daniel had his aortic valve replaced at the University of Alabama Hospital. His surgery was a success and the new valve will most likely carry him into adulthood without another procedure.

Thinking about getting more involved with AHA’s advocacy efforts? Tina and her family encourage you to go ahead and do it! “You won’t regret it,” says Tina. “It’s more rewarding than you could ever imagine. You never know when you might be able to make a positive change in someone else’s life.”

Past Advocate Spotlights

Teresa Rice
Dr. David Goff
Rob & Kristine Mateus

State SpotlightSmoke free environment
Check below to see highlights of work we’re doing in different states. You can also visit the Action Center to see what’s happening in your state now.

Missouri can celebrate two hard-fought smoke-free victories this year. Voters in Fulton, MO and Jefferson City, MO (Missouri Capitol City) made it clear that smoke-free air is important to them by passing strong ordinances in both communities. These victories are important steps in ultimately helping Missouri join the ranks of smoke-free states in the near future. The expectation is that these victories will lead to more local wins, and to eventually carry over to the state level, where advocates are focusing their efforts on educating Missouri legislators on the many benefits of smoke-free air.

On Tuesday, November 2, the city of San Angelo, Texas became the 34th city to become a smoke-free community. With over 61 percent voter approval, this city will now provide a comprehensive smoke-free work place ordinance for over 92,000 residents. You’re the Cure advocates were critical to the local campaign and many thanks go to board members, Dr. Michael Blanc for a compelling editorial to the local paper, Lisa Burger for co-chairing the local coalition, Joyce Gray for going door to door and local Corporate Market Director Frann Smith who kept the team engaged on the effort and helped guide the Coalition and You’re the Cure advocates!

South Dakotans went to the polls Tuesday, November 2, and said YES to a comprehensive smoke-free law. The campaign found widespread support and You’re the Cure advocates were engaged on a Smoke-free South Dakota Facebook page, which reached thousands of supporters during the campaign. The law took effect on November 10, the day after the state’s official election canvass. You’re the Cure advocates were instrumental in both the 2009 legislative effort and during the 2010 campaign. Passage of this smoke-free law represents more than 812,000 lives protected in South Dakota.

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Advocacy Contacts

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association advocates for sound public policy strategies aimed at reducing heart disease and stroke. We have government relations teams in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Learn who your federal and state staff contacts are and how to reach them about policy issues.