Show Me the Give - American Heart Association
There are some causes we are introduced through tragedy, however with rain comes rainbows. I am the daughter of a family who has had a history of heart disease. I would love to say I'm in the clear, but the truth is I cross my fingers (and toes) each doctor visit hoping to stay on a better path.
The reality of my story is that my uncle died of a massive heart attack when he was 46 years old. Ten years later my father died of a massive heart attack at 44 years old. Several years later their brother (my uncle) died of a massive heart attack. Full disclosure, they were all smokers from an early age. The sad thing is on the day my dad died while I was in shock digesting that my father was gone, I emptied his ashtray for the final time. I remember being furious at those cigarettes at the time. One by one, my father and two of his three siblings fell to the same fate.
I'm not a MD and will not attempt to educate you on the heart. I will highly encourage you to turn to the professionals that are experts and allow them to guide your optimum health. On the financial side, I first turned to the American Heart Association through a Giving Campaign run through my employer (Allstate Insurance). I was able to send an auto deduction to the charity of my choice out of each paycheck. Without a second thought, I chose the American Heart Association (AHA).
An organization founded almost 100 years ago, they have proudly educated and assisted with implementing live saving and changing programs that have saved and improved lives. From promoting heart health to resuscitation techniques (CPR), the AHA has provided a vital service. What I've loved about the organization is the whole body approach to being heart healthy. If you visit their website you'll find loads of information about health and fitness that supports a healthy heart.
Educating the public on the early signs of Heart Attack and Stroke have become the hallmark of the organization. You can read the full signs and symptoms of both HERE. I do want to list the SYMPTOMS FOR HEART ATTACK:
- Chest Discomfort
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
- Shortness of breath
- Other signs which may include cold sweats, nausea, and lightheadedness
The AHA is the world leader in CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) training and education. I recall being a part of a Mass CPR Training Event in the Astrodome in Houston (1991). I was part of the volunteer team that cleaned and rotated the CPR Training Mannequins for the attendees. It's not a glamorous job, but let me tell you, that day I was part of helping hundreds of people become educated and certified to save lives. In my book that was the most glamorous thing I had ever done!
Three years ago I renewed my certification. I remember I went in to take my test and the CPR mannequin was a baby! It honestly took my breath away. You are trained to save anyone. I had always trained and tested on an adult mannequin. And there was that tiny body. I remember the facilitator told me, "it's okay we save her every day". I smiled while I held back tears thinking one day I may be saving someone's infant, so I better get this right. The technique is slightly different on an infant, but the concepts are all the same. The goal is to get them breathing with a heart beat until the medical professionals arrive.
In my opinion we owe it to ourselves, our family members, and our community to all get certified. If you're not, check with your company to see if they offer it. If not, contact the AHA and take the initiative to get the program implemented in your company. Saving lives together is loads of fun trust me!
The AHA is always accepting volunteers for their time, talent, and treasure. If you're ready to help the world become healthier and free of heat disease and stroke, this is the organization for you (Start HERE). The simple education can change everything for you, your family, and your community. A healthy community is a thriving community. With the AHA you have a chance to make a difference.
American Heart Association Website: www.Heart.org