When I started working at the American Heart Association in May of 2008, my first day on the job was at something called, "Lobby Day" in Albany.
I was totally overwhelmed at the prospect of working full-time after being home for years with my children as a stay-at-home mom. That first day was a whirlwind of legislative visits with Assembly and Senate representatives, a brief tour of the Capitol and sprinting from photo opp to photo opp--I was handy with a camera! I definitely worked up a sweat and learned what they meant by "wear comfortable shoes."
I met so many enthusiastic and passionate volunteers that day, and I continue to meet more every year. They all had that "can-do" attitude. Many had survived cardiac arrest. Some had lost loved ones to it. All were so inspirational. I couldn't have picked a better day to start at the AHA.
Here it is, six years later in 2014, and that bill that we literally gave our sweat, and in some cases, tears for, is finally signed. Although it's not a done deal yet, we still need the Commissioner of Education and Board of Regents to sign off, I think it's a great time to look back at all the people who helped get the bill to the Governor's desk.
The bill signing is all about a small group of people in New York State coming together to help the lives of all New Yorkers. It's about a dedicated group of survivors and families of those lost to cardiac arrest rallying for the good of everyone. It's really a case study in how the power of grassroots activism can help save lives. It's about all those phone calls, emails, visits and Tweets that said, "Please pass the CPR in Schools bill!"
I salute all the You're the Cure advocates from the Hudson Valley and around the state for working so hard for so many years to get this bill to this point! We're so close!!! Great work, everyone!
Check out photos from over the years of some of the great volunteers who helped get this bill passed!