Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Go Red Website, Heart Gallery, Heart Ball Fashion Show and more!

What an incredible week it has been. There have been amazing things happening, and amazingly difficult things as well. First, I am so honored to share with you that my video testimony has gone up on the national Go Red For Women web site. Visit to see the clip, and my introduction as a national spokesperson for this amazing organization. This really feels like the beautiful culmination of eight incredible years of dedication and work. I have had the privilege of speaking to groups from as small as 8 women, to as large as 1000, but I could never have hoped to reach the number of women that will be reached every day by this piece being featured on the Go Red site.
Our fund raising season has kicked off, and we are starting to have the fabulous round of events that lead up to the Heart Ball. I was so excited to be asked to model for the kick of fashion show at Barbara Jean fashions in Little Rock. Miss Arkansas International Erin Golden and I were thrilled to model the fairy tale fashions of French designer Domanique DeSentino. I also had the opportunity to open the show by introducing Go Red and the Heart ball to the attendees. I had only five minutes, but I packed some incredible information in that short span of time! I so look forward to this incredible season of fund raising, educating, and awareness!
I was also so thrilled to get to be part of the inaugural shoot for the Greater Arkansas Heart Gallery. I have been honored to serve on the board of this incredible organization for about a year. The chairwoman is my dear friend, Robin Moore. Robin has such a heart for these precious children, and after a year of hard work and dedication we celebrated the first photography session with some beautiful and gifted children. I can’t share photos of the children with you, due to legal reasons, but please enjoy the photo of Robin, and the wonderful photographer Stuart Holt. Stuart is remarkably generous, and donated his time and talents to this incredible cause. We cannot thank him enough; finding a photographer for this incredible project has been the most challenging step so far. Stuart stepped in and saved the day. We cannot wait for the kick off exhibit!
I want to thank all of you who are calling and emailing your thoughts and prayers for my father. This has been a very difficult week. On Monday we discovered that my fathers white blood cell count had plummeted. Normal range for white cells is 2.8-7.8. On Monday dad’s cell count was 0.8, and he was extremely dehydrated. He has been in isolation for the week, receiving IV fluids, antibiotics and shots of a drug which encourages the bone marrow to increase white cell production. Please continue to keep him in your prayers!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lions Club 2008

I was the guest speaker at the Lions Club today. What an incredible group of volunteers and community leaders these individuals are. We had an incredibly large group despite being bumped from the normal location; there were about 150 people at the luncheon. I was incredibly honored to speak before this group in 2003, and it was a blessing to return. I am always amazed at how open and receptive people are to the message of women's heart disease education and awareness. As usual I asked the members of this group to sign up for the "You're the Cure" advocacy circle. On average I am lucky if I get 25% participation from a group, especially one of this size. I believe that typically people are hesitant to give out their email, for fear of more spam in their in-boxes. We at the AHA assure them that we do absolutely zero address sharing, but people are still hesitant. I am thrilled to report that we got 100% participation today! These members were so excited about the opportunity to become political activists for such an incredible cause, and with so little effort!

This was the first opportunity I had to speak before an audience wearing the Mrs. International banner. I'm still just overwhelmed when I put it on. I'm overwhelmed that I am the face of such an amazing organization; I'm overwhelmed that I am the representative of such an incredible group of women; I'm overwhelmed at the possibilities before me this year!

Monday, August 4, 2008

STOP Stroke Act Stopped in the Senate

On July 28, the Senate voted to consider a package of 35 bills, called the Advancing America’s Priorities Act, which contained the Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention (STOP Stroke) Act. Unfortunately, the package did not get the 60 votes needed to move forward, slowing the progress You’re the Cure advocates worked so hard to achieve with STOP Stroke.
Although the outcome was not what we had hoped for, You’re the Cure advocates were clearly heard on Capitol Hill! In just a few short days, you helped generate nearly 7,000 emails, contacting all 100 members of the Senate. We also placed phone calls and sent faxes to targeted members, and the AHA was proudly represented by Virginia stroke survivor and You’re the Cure advocate Paul Berger at a press conference just days before the vote. In addition, STOP Stroke was mentioned numerous times on the Senate floor throughout the debate.
We may be down, but we are not out, and the count continues until Congress adjourns for the year. Now, more than ever, we need your help to keep the pressure on the Senate. It is very important that you tell your Senators that this bill must move forward before the session ends.
Send a message to your Senators today to let them know that their You’re the Cure constituents are following their actions and will stand up for the nearly six million stroke patients and their families in this country.