FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Congressional Delegation is rallying behind Rep. Andy Barr in support of the CAROL Act, a bipartisan bill honoring the memory of his wife in the fight against valvular heart disease.
The Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy (CAROL) Act aims to support research and raise awareness about the disease that unexpectedly took Carol Leavell Barr’s life last year.
"I really feel like we're gonna make a difference with this," said Barr said after introducing the legislation on Monday. "It has bipartisan support, we're gonna pass this bill and it's gonna save lives."
U.S. Representatives Hal Rogers, Brett Guthrie, James Comer and John Yarmuth have all signed on as cosponsors of Barr’s legislation.
“Carol Barr was a beautiful light in our world and this namesake legislation will carry forward the impact of her life throughout the country, potentially saving the lives of other individuals unknowingly suffering from valvular heart disease,” said Rogers, dean of the Kentucky Congressional Delegation.
Yarmuth, the only Democratic member of the Kentucky Congressional Delegation, said he is proud to support the legislation that aims to raise awareness and promote research of valvular heart disease.
"I thank and commend my colleague and friend, Congressman Andy Barr, for his courage in transforming an unimaginable loss into a remarkable effort to save lives and help others," Yarmuth said. "It’s truly a testament to the love that he and Carol shared, as well as Andy’s commitment to this important cause."
Approximately 25,000 Americans die each year from valvular heart disease, predominately young women. The CAROL Act authorizes a grant program administered by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, supporting research on valvular heart disease.
The legislation would also generate new data, and bring together experts to identify gaps in research and prescriptive guidelines for the treatment of patients with MVP. It also instructs the Centers for Disease Control to increase public awareness regarding symptoms of valvular heart disease and effective strategies for preventing sudden cardiac death.
The CAROL Act has been endorsed by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and WomenHeart.