Archive for April, 2011

The American Heart Association Las Vegas Heart Ball is tomorrow night at the Mirage Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

After returning from Florida I was honored to open my invitation.  My Red Tie is waiting.  This will be my second Heart Ball.

One of The guests of honor will be a 10-month-old little girl named Lola who has already had 2 heart surgeries.  I met this young special fellow survivor and her mom and dad at a Heart Walk committee meeting several weeks ago.  The baby is adorable and full of life (and SMILES).

In addition to having many, many silent auction items up for grabs there will be several large ticket auction items going up during the dinner.  I’ve included a list below for some of the large items for the curiosity seekers.

1. Jason of Beverly Hills Floating Heart Pendant: The winner of this beautiful package receives Full cut floating diamond heart pendant G color VS1 clarity set into 14K gold which is encased within hand cut mineral crystal on a 16 inch polish mesh chain. No return or exchange.

Generously Donated by Jason of Beverly Hills at The Cosmopolitan Hotel  -VALUE: $2,500

2. Bernard Passman Gallery Gift Certificates: This is a series of five $500 certificates totaling $2,500.  These certificates can be redeemed at the Passman of Nevada Gallery in the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas.  This is a wonderful way to start or continue your Passman Gallery Collection. No return or exchange.

Generously Donated by Bernard Passman Gallery at The Venetian Hotel – VALUE: $2,500

3. Batter Up!!: Travel in style to beautiful Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, August 5th . Guests of The Westin Phoenix Hotel will enjoy two rooms for Friday & Saturday night.  On Saturday, August 6th, take in a ballgame like a VIP! Enjoy all the action from a private box that seats up to 12. – No return or exchange. Tickets and hotel stay only good for August 5th & 6th.

Generously donated by, Perini Building Company and the Westin Phoenix Downtown Hotel. VALUE: $4,000

4. Bernard Passman Gallery Kissed by Design Ring and Earrings 18kt. The ring has .55 ct and the earrings have .70 ct.  This design is a wonderful example of how the diamonds gently kiss the black coral. These are two a beautiful pieces from the Art to Wear collection in the Passman gallery. No return or exchange.

Generously Donated by Bernard Passman Gallery at The Venetian Hotel – VALUE: $6,000

5. Hawaiian Timeshare Getaway from Bay Club: The winner of this incredible package receives a timeshare in Bay Club Waikoloa beginning in 2012 and membership paid to RCI until May 31, 2013. Bi-Annual Maintenance Fees are the responsibility of the purchaser: 1st Fee Due December 2012: $2,069.23; Trip may only be booked for every other year beginning in 2012.

Generously Donated by The Tanner Family- VALUE: $14,000

6. Bernard Passman Gallery Love & Devotion Heart Pendant: This beautiful pendant and chain is featured in 18kt white gold and contains 1.80 cts, VS Clarity, G-H color diamonds.  The “Love and Devotion” pendant is designed around a rare heart shaped red tourmaline.  Only the highest quality of red tourmalines carry the title “Rubellite”.    This beautiful pendant was created exclusively to honor the American Heart Association. No return or exchange.

Generously Donated by Bernard Passman Gallery at The  Venetian Hotel – VALUE: $10,000

7. Shell Vacation Club Timeshare, Three Weeks… Anywhere in the World! – Resorts all around the world, with 12,000 points you can experience just about any destination you choose every year till 2049.  Experience the lap of luxury at some of the finest resorts.  Use the points all at once or set off on a week’s adventure, three time a year.  Annual Maintenance Fees are the responsibility of the purchaser: $2,537.71; 12,000 points per year until 2049 to be used at any Shell Property in the world. Depending on Resort 4,000 points = one weeks stay.

Generously Donated by The Tanner Family – VALUE: $48,000

As I walked up to the entrance of my local Whole Foods store in Las Vegas I saw this magnificent piece of Artwork.

It was titled “An Affair Of The Heart”.  Coincidentally, I had just come from a conference on Basic and Advanced Life Support and a lecture on Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Adolescents.

The plaque on the artwork said it was dedicated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. As many of you may know, St. Jude’s is one of America’s leading Children’s Cancer hospitals.

What a great piece of art for such a great cause. – Keith

It’s summer time and I’ve had the pleasure to take long walks on a beautiful beach the past few days.

I have an 11” scar in the center of my chest from open-heart surgery almost 4 years ago.

As people walk past me in the opposite direction, one of the few things I think about in my completely unstressed, worry free, creative state of mind is, “What are they thinking”?  What is the first thing that comes to there minds? Does a wife say to a husband, “Look dear, that could be one of us”?  Does a man or women say to themselves that they better take better care of their heart or walk a little further on the sand? Do they think about taking the doctors suggestions from their last visit a little more seriously? Perhaps that night they’ll order a salad for dinner instead of fried shrimp?

I’ll let you know that I am totally OK with people seeing my scar.

I believe it’s a badge of honor for a fight well fought.

Heart disease has consequences and in my case, it’s visual on my chest.

Perhaps my chest serves as a billboard for the Awareness, Prevention, and Education of Heart Disease. – Keith

Taxi Stand Ashtray

I arrived back in Vegas tonight. After leaving baggage claim, where one of my bags was in Los Angeles, but that’s a different story, I had to catch a taxi back to the Vegas house.

The line was very long but it always moves very fast.  They have you go in a line up and down and up and down 5 times several hundred feet before getting into a cab.  I think they do this so the people who are drunk get off the planes and think they’re in Disneyland.

The problem with this is that there were so many smokers that the second hand smoke was so bad, I felt like I was in the middle of the worlds largest ashtray with cigarettes that just wouldn’t go out.

I’m wondering how many breaths I took of smoke before getting into my cab. I got a headache in just 15 minutes.  I can’t even remember the last time I had a headache.  The smell just made my head pound. It’s still pounding and I’ve been home for 2 hours.

The smoke wasn’t the only problem.  The number of cigarette butts on the ground looked like a sick art project. Smoke and litter were everywhere and unescapable.

I may start a campaign to have McCarran Airport have a smoke free taxi stand.  I bet I could get some action and solution to this health and pollution hazard. – Keith

If thinking about changing your lifestyle is putting too much pressure on you then don’t think about it:)

If you feel like this or know someone who is then you’re probably thinking too “big”. Think smaller.

Too often we think of the task at hand as overwhelming an un-doable.  It’s a very legitimate fear.

You need to think “smaller” and what little things you can do today that are different than yesterday but knowing you can’t fail at them.  Something that is healthier perhaps. It could be activity or nutrition or both. This way of thinking is certainly an easier way to build momentum for yourself. Momentum is a great thing once you start moving.  It can also be real bad when we’re moving in a poor direction.

Perhaps it’s walking to the front door or to the mailbox each day or taking the stairs at work.  Maybe it’s ordering a sandwich with mustard instead of mayonnaise or a salad with plain balsamic vinegar instead of blue cheese dressing. Try grabbing a bottle of water instead of a soda. You know, little things.

If someone told me 4 years ago that I had to lose 200 pounds, well let me tell you I would have tuned them out real quick.  The fact of the matter is I didn’t need to lose 200 pounds, I needed to lose 5 and then another 5 and so on.  I just needed to be able to walk to the mailbox before I could walk around the block. You get the idea.  Little things, doable things, can’t fail at things. – Keith

This article appeared in the American Heart Association’s Western states Affiliate April Newsletter.
It took a near-death experience to wake up Keith Ahrens. At the age of 45, the Las Vegas businessman was tipping the scales at over 400 pounds and led a sedentary lifestyle. He hadn’t seen a doctor in years.

That was four years ago. Today, Keith is 200 pounds lighter. He’s a dynamic advocate and spokesperson for the American Heart Association, sharing his story to help others avoid the denial which almost killed him.

Keith neglected his health, had terrible eating habits and avoided physical activity for years. After experiencing classic symptoms of heart disease – shortness of breath, dizziness and nausea – he finally went to a doctor in early 2007. Keith was having a heart attack and a triple bypass operation was required to correct it.

He explains, “After I got that second chance which many heart attack victims never have, I saw it as a great opportunity to help others by putting myself out there as a voice for change.”

It was a new beginning. He changed his eating habits, started walking for exercise and participated in his first Start! Heart Walk in 2009. His dramatic weight loss and energetic, new outlook on life won him the Heart Walk Lifestyle Change Award that year. He was the top Walk fund-raiser in 2010 and is on the planning committee for this year’s event.

Keith put his communications talents to work writing a book to inspire others to follow his path to healthy living.Outrunning My Shadow:  Surviving Open-Heart Surgery and Battling Obesity. The Decision to Change My Life is the title of his book and he maintains a webpage to project his message of self-help. Keith became a Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and began using social media networks to encourage others to improve their lifestyle.

A member of our grassroots network, Keith speaks out often on the local and state level and recently returned from the AHA’s You’re the Cure Congressional Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. Keith has also earned his Basic Life Support (BLS) Instructor Certification from our Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) program.

“If someone in your life is affected by heart disease,” Keith says, “do something. Get involved with the American Heart Association – help save lives.”

You’re the Cure on the Hill Lobby Day 2011
American Heart Association
Please share this video link with one and all – Keith

Just thinking about the possibilities to finding a Cure and Ending Cardiovascular Disease.

Can one man, women or child really make a difference?

Will your voice be heard?

My fight didn’t end on Lobby Day… In Fact, It Just Began.

Join the You’re The Cure network at

What a Day.

Met with Congressmen and Senators to cap off an incredible 2 days at the American Heart Associations You’re the Cure on the Hill Lobby Day.

Become part of the You’re the Cure Network and make a difference in your community, your state, your country.

Visit today

Hanging With Nancy

What an honor to meet Nancy Brown, CEO, of the American Heart Association.

Truly one of Americas top CEO’s

You’re the Cure on the Hill Lobby DayApril 11, 2011