For the last seven months I’ve talked a lot about my personal battle with heart disease and my recovery from open-heart surgery. The reason for that is two-fold.
First, I wanted anyone else with heart disease to know what I learned (as I learned it) and to know that there is life afterward.
Second, and the more important part, I wanted to help educate everyone else that while heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a lot of it is preventable.
There are things like family history and other factors that are out of our control, but a lot of what causes heart disease is up to us. Quitting smoking, eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly are all really simple things we can do to avoid the pain of open-heart surgery.
And I promise you, the surgery hurts.
This weekend is the Charleston Heart Walk, the main fundraising event in support of the American Heart Association (AHA) of West Virginia. The money raised for the AHA goes to research to help find ways to improve our odds against those risk factors we can’t control, but it also goes to support educational programs to help us all avoid having a talk with a cardiologist. And a surgeon. (They also work to stamp out Stroke as well, the #5 killer in the US.)
I’ll be walking this Saturday. I’m going to try to jog the 5K distance, but we’ll see how that goes. Regardless, I’ll be out there and I think you should, too. If you can’t make the walk, please consider donating to the AHA, either directly or through a walk team. My team is Team Second Chance, so named because I feel like I have a second chance at life now. You can search the Charleston Heart Walk site for my team and donate that way, if you want. I don’t get anything from it. All the money goes to the AHA.
The link for my team on the the Charleston Heart Walk is: www.heart.org/charlestonwvwalk
If you want to join me on the walk/run, please join my team and come on out. I’m getting excited!