The American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2014 Heart Walk raised more than $1.5 million and drew over 10,000 walkers to Angel Stadium of Anaheim in March.
Participants enjoyed free blood pressure screenings provided by UC Irvine Health, yoga and CPR demonstrations, visited health-related exhibits and heard from inspirational speakers before hitting the 5K walk around the stadium.
The walkers represented families, individuals and teams formed by local companies who have spent the past few months raising money to support the AHA’s mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The top 5 fundraising teams were McCarthy Building Companies ($92,765), Union Bank ($68,236), Edwards Lifesciences ($52,677), Community Teams made up of family and community groups ($48,472), and SASCO ($41,273).
Jolanda Graham, of San Clemente, shared her daughter Kaelyn’s story and thanked the participants for their support. Nine-year-old Kaelyn was born with only half a heart, has spent countless hours in the hospital and has gone through numerous procedures. In 2010, she underwent a nine-hour surgery to receive a new heart.
“Kaelyn’s story is a testament to the life-saving power of research,” said Graham. “Some of the procedures that has kept my daughter alive resulted from research funded by the AHA, and made possible by donors like you. Kaelyn continues to fight for her life. At some point in the future, Kaelyn will acquire transplant-related heart disease. Currently, the only solution is another heart transplant. We hope that further research will provide an easier and safer solution, when that time comes.”
Funds raised at the Heart Walk support the American Heart Association’s research efforts aimed at better understanding, treating and preventing heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. The money raised at the event also benefits the association’s community education outreach and patient care improvement initiatives.
Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases claim more than 831,000 lives every year. The AHA’s goal is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.
The 2014 Orange County Heart Walk is nationally sponsored by Subway and locally by McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., SASCO and Union Bank.
To participate in next year’s Heart Walk, visit www.OCHeartWalk.org or call (949) 856-3555.
About the American
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.