As you may know, I have a very personal connection with the mission of the AHA - my family has a long history of aortic aneurysms that dates back over 60 years. It has taken numerous people away from us, including my dad, and we didn’t know what was causing it.
A few years ago, our family opted to participate in a genetic research study with the University of Texas Health Science Research Center in Houston, a project funded by the American Heart Association.
In 2018, I received a life-changing call; the researchers had found the gene causing the aneurysms. I found out that I do not have the gene that causes the aneurysms, which means my children don’t have the gene.
However, my family’s story continues as we recently found out that my 5-year-old nephew, Rhett, has the gene. He will need annual checks and continuous care with his doctors to make sure his heart stays strong and healthy. Family is the most important thing to me, and it’s because of the research study funded by the American Heart Association that we were able to locate the gene in Rhett. This research provides the knowledge for physicians to provide lifesaving prevention, treatment, and care to keep Rhett safe and healthy.
The American Heart Association’s mission – to be a relentless force for a world of healthier, longer lives – is more important than ever. I am excited to continue to be a part of this lifesaving mission and am committed to supporting the American Heart Association by raising funds for the 2021 Austin Heart Walk.
I hope you can join me in supporting this year's Heart Walk.