The American Heart Association (AHA) is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat, and defeat heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the nation's number one and number three killers, claim more than 865,000 American lives each year.
Eight years ago, at age forty-two, Jeffrey Cheavens underwent quadruple bypass surgery. His experience motivated him to drastically change his lifestyle by reducing his weight, adding exercise to his daily routine, and making healthier eating choices. As a survivor of heart disease, Mr. Cheavens is an advocate for the AHA and their mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Mr. Cheavens will serve as the chairman of the 2011 American Heart Association’s Tyler Heart Walk.
The Tyler Heart Walk fundraiser will be held on Saturday, September 17, at the Robert E. Lee High School track and Rose Rudman Walking Trail, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Each walker is asked to raise money from friends and family, coworkers, and business acquaintances. The dollars raised each year are used to fund valuable research, education, and advocacy efforts of the AHA.
“Because of my personal experience with heart disease and my second chance at a healthy life, I feel it is important to raise awareness about the risks for heart disease and the simple steps that one can take to improve their own cardiovascular health,” Mr. Cheavens said. “I believe in the AHA’s goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from the disease and stroke by 20 percent. The Heart Walk is an important way we can all be involved to help this goal become a reality.”
Outside of his service to the AHA, Mr. Cheavens is a board member and past president for the East Texas Estate Planning Council. He is a life member of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and a recipient of the Mary Howes Award. Mr. Cheavens was a charter member of the Tyler Sunrise Rotary Club and has served as president of both The University of Texas at Tyler Patriots Club and the Tyler Teen Court.
“Each day we make the choice to sit on the sidelines of life or to get involved and make a difference for others and for ourselves. I choose to get involved. Volunteering my time and energy to causes that improve my community and my world is a natural part of living a full and happy life,” Mr. Cheavens said.
Mr. Cheavens has lived in Tyler for 34 years. He and his wife, Sally, have been married for 27 years and are the parents of two adult children, Caleb and Mickey. Mr. Cheavens received his bachelor of business administration degree in finance from The University of Texas at Tyler and is a graduate of the Texas Bankers Association Employee Benefits School. He is a Vice President and Trust Officer at Texas Bank and Trust. The Cheavens are members of Christ Episcopal Church.
“Tyler is a very unique community full of friendly and generous people committed to preserving the philanthropic spirit that makes it so special. I am appreciative to be able to be a part of Tyler’s tradition of giving,” Mr. Cheavens said.