DALLAS, May 13, 2022 — Four women have reached a prestigious volunteer milestone with the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, for their efforts to advance women’s heart health and fund scientific research.
For the second year, women from across the country were nominated to join the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women® movement Woman of Impact and Teen of Impact program. Starting in February, participants earned points over nine weeks through peer-to-peer fundraising and community impact activities like hosting exercise classes, inviting people to join the American Heart Association’s grassroots advocacy network, creating awareness events and more.
This year four trailblazers earned more than 100,000 points and joined the Woman of Impact Centennial Club.
Hundreds of dedicated volunteers nationwide accepted this year’s invitation, and, together with their teams and supporters, raised more than $4 million to support the Association’s efforts to improve health for all.
“We are so thankful to all of our tremendous volunteer leaders who stepped up in a big way to make a notable impact in their communities and on the future of women’s heart health,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “This program really demonstrates the spirit of the Go Red for Women movement, which is the exponential power we have to make a difference when we unite around this common cause.”
The 2022 Woman of Impact Centennial Club members are:
Sheena Fannin - Dallas, Texas
Sheena Fannin didn’t know she was living with a heart condition until an arrythmia caused her to lose consciousness while caring for her two young sons. She now has a pacemaker/defibrillator and is working with a health care team to ensure she stays healthy.
“This experience helped me with my own fight with heart disease. Since being diagnosed as high risk for sudden cardiac death and having a pacemaker and a defibrillator implanted, I felt as though so much was out of my control,” said Fannin. “This was my way of taking that control back and really turning my situation into something positive.”
Sherry Neubert - Akron, Ohio
Sherry Neubert’s family history includes grandparents who lived to be over 100 years old and grandparents whose lives were cut short due to heart disease. This, combined with losing a friend at a young age due to a heart attack, inspired her to want to do more to help others live longer, healthier lives.
“The key to success was my entire community and network of supporters. We had 40 team members who posted on social media, wore red for weeks, hosted events, and found so many great sponsors and nearly 500 donors,” said Neubert. “But what I’m most proud of is the impact we had on ourselves and on our community. I still get emails from people who say they went to the doctor and checked this out, or they changed this thing about their lifestyle because of our campaign. That’s the most amazing part.”
Brandy Parke – Houston, Texas
Both Brandy Parker and her daughter, Rebecca, were born with congenital heart defects. After years of medication changes and doctors’ visits, both Brandy and Rebecca were put on the transplant list and received new hearts. Brandy joined the Woman of Impact program in honor of Rebecca, who passed away in 2017.
“Rebecca is the reason why I said ‘yes’. I love getting her story out there and being vulnerable with so many people,” said Parker. “It was out of my comfort zone, but it's been an amazing adventure.”
Jeana Rettig - Los Angeles, California
Jeana Rettig and her team planned events and fundraisers for their colleagues to raise awareness about the disparities that exist when it comes to women’s heart health.
“We focused our campaign around Valentine’s Day, International Women's Month and Women's History Month to raise awareness of women’s heart health, and eventually raised far more than our original goal,” said Rettig. “I was honored to meet some amazing women leaders throughout this journey and humbled by their ‘why,’ their dedication and their passion for making a difference.”
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined. While the large majority of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented, they continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
For more information on Woman of Impact, contact your local American Heart Association office.
About Go Red for Women
The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement is the trusted, passionate, relevant force for change to end heart disease and stroke in women all over the world. While the large majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. For 18 years, Go Red for Women has provided a platform for women to come together, raise awareness, fund lifesaving research, advocate for change and improve the lives of all women everywhere. The American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with additional support from national cause supporters. Connect with us on GoRedforWomen.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-888-MY-HEART (1- 888-694-3278).
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For media inquiries:
Libby Ridenhour, Libby.Ridenhour@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)