Heart and Stroke walk raises funds for research

Heart and Stroke walk raises funds for research
November 03
02:35 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Stroke and heart disease are the two leading causes of death in Forsyth County.  The American Heart Association (AHA) is devoted to saving people from these terrible diseases.  The team with millions of volunteers to fund research, provide life saving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases.

On Saturday, Oct. 29, the AHA held its annual Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke walk at Bailey Park. At the time of the walk, the organization had raised over $625,000 from the event to go toward research.  Over 7,500 people were expected to show for the walk.  This is the 24th year of the walk and the first time it was at at Bailey Park.  It was previously held at Tanglewood Park.  The funds from the event go to research and community education about the diseases.

Prior to the walk they held the “Red & White Cap Ceremony” that honored local heart disease and stroke survivors.  The event also included a Kids Zone with carnival games, jump ropes, hula hoops, corn hole and face painting.  The participants in the walk were encouraged to bring their dogs for the “Pooches on Parade.”

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Gentiva Home Health and MedCost sponsored the walk. Hanesbrands Inc. was the presenting sponsor for the walk.

Co-chairwoman for the walk, Dr. Allison Brashear, professor and chair of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said they want to change the picture of stroke and heart disease here in Forsyth county.  She said Wake Forest Baptist is committed to changing and improving the health of the people in Forsyth County.

Sarah Fedele of AHA said that one in three people affected with heart dis-ease and stroke passes away.  She said the good thing about it is that both are 80 percent preventable if individuals monitor their diets and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There were many individuals in attendance who have survived either heart disease or stroke.  Many were willing to share their stories when asked.

Michael White of Burlington was suffering from congestive heart failure and less than a year later received a heart transplant.  He said people need to make sure they receive regular check ups to make sure their health is up to par.

“I went a month or so without going to the doctor because I was afraid of what he would say,” said White.  “But after going through what I went through, by not going I went through a lot worse. Events like this lets people know they are not by themselves.  I was ready to give up, but with people like this, it’s like a big family.

Wayne Turner of Statesville also received a heart transplant.  He said it was a rough journey but he has come a long way.

Turner added, “This is an amazing event and all the support from the doctors, nurses, community, family and friends is a wonderful experience.

Denise Johnson, an employee at Wake Forest Baptist, said she comes from a family of heart dis-ease.  She said she had a heart block and received a pace maker in 2011.  She said heart disease can hap-pen in the best and healthiest of families and you never know the person your sitting next to may have it.  She said she is glad these diseases are being brought to the fore-front.

The participants in the walk had the choice of a one, two or four mile journey.  Following the walk there was an after party sponsored by Whiting-Turner.  There was live music by the Jill Goodson Band and a heart-healthy food truck competition.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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