About one in four Americans die from heart disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help raise awareness and much-needed funding, CDPHP is once again sponsoring and participating in the American Heart Association’s annual Capital Region Heart Walk on May 10. CDPHP medical director Dr. Edward Yoon is coordinating the effort to encourage employees to join as team captains, walkers, and donors.
Take the Pledge with CDPHP
At this year’s event, CDPHP will sponsor the AHA’s “Take the Pledge” initiative, which encourages participants to pledge to lead healthier lives through physical activity and healthy eating. By joining, members vow to take daily walks, drink water, use the stairs regularly, park farther away from their destinations, eat healthy food, and make low-fat choices. Be sure to look for the CDPHP table at the event so that you can Take the Pledge!
CDPHP helps combat heart disease
So far, 111 CDPHP staff members are registered and 15 teams are raising funds for the walk, but we’re expecting to have about 200 participants on the day of the walk. The best part? Out of every dollar raised, $0.75 stays in the Capital Region for heart disease research, technology, and education. Last year, based on fundraising for this event alone, the Capital Region received $1.9 million from the American Heart Association. This funding went to various local organizations for research, including the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University at Albany, and Albany Medical Center.
Our fundraising goal for this event is $25,000 and in early May, we hit the $26,000 mark.
For some CDPHP employees, the Heart Walk is personal. Performance management senior information specialist Jill Byron’s 11-year-old son Ethan has congenital heart disease. He was born with double outlet right ventricle (DORV), which means that the aorta was in the wrong place. He later was diagnosed as also having a large ventricular septal defect. Because of Ethan’s unusual diagnosis and complication, Jill says that there are only a handful of hospitals in the country that are equipped to treat his specific condition. Fortunately, one of them is Albany Medical Center. Ethan had open-heart surgery at 5 months, 17 months, and 6 years. Now, as a healthy 11-year-old, Ethan had this to say, “I am doing the Heart Walk because I am a survivor and have had open-heart surgery three times. This is my chance to give back to the community and help other children who may be sick.”
Ethan’s little sister, 8-year-old Allison, also participates in the walk. Not only does she walk, but for her eighth birthday, she requested walk donations instead of gifts. As Allie put it, “I am walking to help people who have heart problems and might die or need open-heart surgery because I love people and want to help save their lives.” You can visit Ethan’s team page here.
If you deal with heart disease symptoms, walk for your health. If you’ve lost someone to the disease or know someone who is suffering from its effects, walk in his or her memory. Or, if raising money for a worthy cause that can help millions of people sounds like a good idea … get out and walk! You can join a team, create your own, or simply donate to a walker if you aren’t able to participate. Any donation, large or small, is something of which you can be proud. Please join CDPHP on May 10 for this important community event!