Tie up your laces and grab a bottle of water because Saturday marks the date for the American Heart Association’s annual Lowndes Heart Walk at 8 a.m. at Mckey Park.
This year AHA is hoping to raise $10,000 for critical cardiovascular disease research and education.
There are only eight teams registered, but everyone has the option to join a team or create their own.
For some, the walk is more than an event.
“My grandfather died of heart disease three years ago,” Jake McHargue, a senior sign language major, said. “I’d walk a mile everyday for him if I had to, so I think I can manage waking up that early.”
This year’s walk is dedicated in memory of Dr. Phillip Gunter. Gunter served as VSU’s former vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the Dewar College of Education, provost and chair of the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders.
According to the National Stroke Association, cardiovascular disease is a huge risk factor for strokes. Strokes occur every 40 seconds and are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
Shelby Wiley, a nursing student at Southwest Georgia Technical College, is already aware of the possible heart risks.
“In nursing school I have learned that the heart is one complicated organ,” she said. “Heart disease causes so many problems for the human body; it doesn’t just cause problems with your heart but with your brain, body movement and other areas throughout your body.”
Cassandra Ward, a senior administrative secretary and vice president for Academic Affairs encourages and thanks VSU students and staff in advance for walking, donating and joining her in this worthy cause by celebrating the survivors and raising funds for research and education.
You can also make a donation at the AHA’s Heart Walk website at, http://www.kintera.org/faf/teams/groupTeamList.asp?ievent=1011316&lis=0&kntae1011316=038F15FAE42D46E79470C6097ADE26A3&tlteams=5126972.
Whether you walk with someone or for someone, you can save a life by simply putting one foot in front of the other.