Heart disease research celebrated at Heart Walk
Published 3:00 am Friday, February 24, 2017
Virginia “Ginger” Rodgers was one of hundreds of people that showed up at the Troy Recreation Center on Thursday to participate in the annual Heart Walk for the American Heart Association.
Rodgers is an example of the importance of heart disease research– and not just for preventing and treating heart attacks and stroke.
“In 2000 I had a heart ablation,” Rodgers said. “ I finally got surgery from a doctor in Birmingham, one of the only doctors that could do the surgery at the time. Now, most heart doctors can do it. The research to know how to do that saved my life.”
“Thank god it’s fixed. It’s not just about surviving, but having a better quality of life.”
Walk co-chair Tracey Davis said that the walk is a celebration of the year’s fundraising efforts and a way for supporters to get good exercise and a heart-healthy meal.
“This is kind of our celebration,” Davis said. “We’re encouraging people to be healthy and each year we provide a heart-healthy meal. This is the big event, but a lot of our fundraising comes throughout the year.”
In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of the event, the walk had games and chances to win prizes based on how many laps each person walked. There were also booths stationed around the gym floor for people to get information and even CPR training.
The Pike County High School Jazz Ensemble entertained the walkers as they made their rounds around the upper track above the gym. Ralph Black from WTBF-Radio emceed the event.
Black read out some facts about heart disease and the importance of exercise and diet in prevention.
“Physically active people save $500 a year on health insurance,” Black said. “Every 40 seconds, someone in America dies of heart disease.”
Survivors and supporters of all ages participated in the walk.
One survivor was just 4 years old, and has been a survivor of heart disease since the day she was born.
That little girl, Cadence Legg, was born with a congenital heart disease (CHD) and had a heart catheter done when she was just 7 months old to heal her heart.
Cadence, her parents, Ciara and Jacob Legg, her aunts and her grandparents were all there at the Heart Walk to support the research of the American Heart Association and to bring awareness to the disease.
Each member of the group wore a shirt that said “Team Cadence” on it with a bandaged heart on it, except Cadence herself.
Her shirt read “CHD didn’t stop this princess!”
Troy’s annual Heart Walk is just one of the many walks held by the American Heart Association around the country every year.
For more information about the American Heart Associaiton and the annual Heart Walk campaign, go to www.heart.org.