Emily Earhart was the guest on my Born To Talk Radio Show. She is the Southern California Regional Development Leader for the Adult Congenital Heart Association.
Join us on her journey.
Emily was born with a congenital heart defect that was discovered at 6 months old. She had her first heart surgery at 11 months, the 2nd one at 15. Her 3rd surgery at 31 and finally her last one at 33. She now has 2 mechanical valves that should last a lifetime. The technology in congenital heart disease has made such enormous advances, what was once a 10% chance of living to 18 and beyond is now 90%. Did you know that congenital heart disease is the number one birth defect?
As you will hear, nothing has really held Emily back. Between her 2nd and 3rd surgeries, she earned a BA in Anthropology from UC Berekely. Then she wanted to advance her interests and earned an MA in Food Anthropology from the University of London. If you don’t know what an MA in Food Anthropology means, you will hear about that and why she persued that field. Including, why she was able to connect that love of her food community to transition into working with non-profits and the ACHA.
Emily was 30 years old, living in Los Angeles when she met the first person with chronic heart disease. Imagine what that must have been like for her. Therefore, you can see why she started out as a volunteer with ACHD and served as a peer mentor. Subsequently, when a job became available she was ready for her next step as the Southern California Regional Development Leader. She believes in their mission:
“The Adult Congenital Heart Association is to improve and extend the lives of the millions born with heart defects through education, advocacy, and research.”
Some services they provide:
Find a doctor with their clinic directory. What you need to know living day-to-day. They post regular webinars. How to become your own best advocate? Heart to Heart Peer Support. You are not alone. Check out their News and Events.
You can register online for their Walk for 1 in 100 in a city near you. The money is raised for outreach, education, research and more.
Emily’s advice is to take advantage of the great opportunities that ACHA has to offer. She lives a life of gratitude and she shares that with others.
Thank you, Emily Earhart! Your smile says it all! You have a Heart of Gold!