Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet Mark Miller from Stockton, CA

With California's Lobby Day less than 2 months away, you may be considering joining us in Sacramento. CA Lobby Day brings together You're the Cure advocates from across our state and we truly hope you can join us.
We'd like to introduce you to Mark Miller, a long time advocate from Stockton. Mark was happy to share his Lobby Day experiences with you. Enjoy his story below and click here to register today.

YTC: How did you get involved with You're the Cure?
Pretty much by having a heart attack, 4 stents and open heart surgery. To survive it, be put on billboards showing that having a heart attack does not have to be the end of the world, but can be the start of a whole new one. Went to Lobby Day in Washington DC and was really excited to see so many people from so many different backgrounds all on the same page. Its amazing what can be done when everyone wants the same thing.

YTC: What motivated you to attend our first Lobby Day?
Mark: The Stockton American Heart Association invited me to speak. I thought that if somehow we could get the message across that all of us are just a heartbeat away from having heart issues, and to focus some attention to that cause...why not? I had my picture taken with Cruz Bustamante, the Lieutenant Governor at the time.

YTC: Tell me about your experience as a Lobby Day Volunteer
Mark: In Sacramento, it was my very first experience of anykind with the American Heart Association. I met great people. I found out that the senators and assembly people are all just like the rest of us...they have the same hopes and fears that we have regarding heart issues, and they too have family members that need help.

YTC: What is your favorite memory of a past Lobby Day?
Mark: In Sacramento, Cruz Bustamante asking me to be photographed with him holding up one of the posters that St Joseph's made of me. In Washington DC, Diane Feinstein asking me and another stroke survivor to be photographed with her, and Hillary Clinton asking for one of my posters for her to give to her husband. He and I had the same surgery.

YTC: Why do you think it is important to participate in events like this?
It's crucial that survivors take part. People have to know that there is a future after heart disease. Actually, what could have been the worst day of my life, turned out to be the best day of my life.

YTC: Any other words of encouragement?
Mark: Hey listen, listen to your body, take care of it. If you do, it will take good care of you too.
I feel better today at age 63 than I ever did at 33.