Your story can be a very useful tool when working with others to make a difference.
1) No one wants to hear my personal story.
What you tell your friends is one thing. But, it’s different when you are telling your story to a person with the power to make a change. Whether it’s a lawmaker, a physician, researcher, or insurer, they need to hear your story. You see, all the numbers in the world are not nearly as powerful as your personal story, your experience.
2) You have to be a social person to tell your story.
There are lots of ways to tell your story that don’t even involve talking! Start by getting your story in writing.
There is no one exact way to do it. After nine years of rewriting my story, I now have a short version, a long version, a funny version, and tucked inside for special occasions, I have that very emotional version that still takes my breath away.
Once you have your story down on paper – submit it to our website! We are building a collection of stories to help inspire others and we look forward to adding yours.
3) Telling your story takes a lot of time.
It might the first few times. It took me several hours to get my thoughts on paper, several days until I was finally happy with it, and it has changed many times over the years. Now, I can write it in a quick email or share it in a passing conversation. I’ve even hammered out a 30 second version I can tell someone on the elevator!
4) You have to be a heart defect expert for anyone to listen.
You are the expert – you, or someone you love, has been impacted by heart defects and you know more about your experience than anyone else. You don’t need to know the medical details or the latest research. It is your story that matters.
5) Telling your story doesn’t make a difference.
Oh, yes, it does. I have heard countless times how someone’s story has changed minds, tipped the scales, and moved mountains. Mine has, and yours can, too. Try it and see what happens.
The Pediatric Congenital Heart Association firmly believes in the power of our stories and is committed to bringing them together to be the resounding voice of the CHD Community.
We are building a collection of stories that can be found on our website. A few stories will be featured on our home page. Others can be found using the links on our blog page. These stories can be used to inspire others to take action, too. Be a part of something bigger – share your story today, because together, we will make a difference.
Amy Basken – President, Pediatric Congenital Heart Association