Record crowd joins Red Caps

Published 11:25 pm Monday, February 13, 2012

The Pike County Heart Association’s “Red Cap Survivors’ Breakfast” Saturday was the most well attended ever.

Jim O’Neal, event chair, said around 65 survivors and caretakers enjoyed a heart-healthy breakfast and the fellowship of those who know the importance of the work being done by the American Heart Association.

“This was the largest crowd that we’ve had,” O’Neal said. “The survivors of heart disease and stroke know, first-hand, that the research and education funded by the American Heart Association is helping save many lives.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

O’Neal lost his father to heart disease when he was only 57 years old.

“My father died because the doctors didn’t know what to do for him,” O’Neal said. “That’s not the case now. After open-heart surgery, people can lead normal lives. Through research and education, the American Heart Association is making a difference through the prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke.”

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford was the guest speaker for the Red Cap Survivors’ Breakfast.

“Mayor Lunsford is an encouraging example of the strides that have been made in treating heart disease and we appreciate his willingness to share his story,” O’Neal said.

Lunsford said, too, that the strides that have been made in the treatment of heart disease are the reason that he is a survivor.

“But, when you are going through heart surgery and recovery, attitude is so important,” he said. “How you accept your condition and how you handle it makes a difference. Attitude is most important in all that we do.”

Lunsford laughingly said that he challenges anyone of any age to out-hoola his grandchildren, who are champions when it comes to hoola-hooping for the heart.

Annette Toney, chair of the Pike County Heart Board, expressed appreciation to all of those who attended the Red Cap Survivors’ Breakfast. She also offered congratulations to William White, board member, who was recognized as the longest survivor of heart disease in attendance. White is a 31-year survivor.

The Red Cap Survivors’ Breakfast was a prelude to the culminating event of the 2012 Pike County Heart Walk campaign at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Cattleman Park. The Heart Walk is a family event with food, entertainment and fellowship.

“The layout for the Heart Walk will be hearts that celebrate the lives of those who have survived heart disease and stroke and remember those whose lives were lost,” Toney said.

“We encourage everyone to make plans now to join us for the 2012 Heart Walk on Thursday.”