Walkers, runners raise over $17,000 to fight heart disease


Hundreds of walkers and runners joined the American Heart Association to be a force for a world of longer, healthier lives at the Rome Run & Indoor Walk. Walkers and runners raised more than $17,000 to fight heart disease and stroke, according to the local chapter of the American Heart Association.

The event was held at Rome Free Academy on Saturday and sponsored by Rome Memorial Hospital.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans, according to the American Heart Association, while stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Two Red Cap Ambassadors shared their stories.

Jaxon Hayes, of Rome, had open heart surgery at two days old to repair a congenital heart defect.

By the time he was one-year-old, Jaxon’s family discovered he suffered a stroke. He is now an active five-year-old who loves dinosaurs, cars, and playing with his twin sister Riley. 

Angel Woolheater, of Utica, found out she suffered a stroke after experiencing vision problems.

She underwent many tests and procedures and discovered a heart problem. Now, she is waiting for a heart transplant and wears a device that pumps her heart for her.

The Rome Run & Indoor Walk offered different walk courses to attract different types of walkers; for the person that would like a leisurely walk, there was an indoor oval track and for the more avid walker there were challenging courses around the school. For runners, the event offered an outdoor 5K run.

The morning was filled with family-friendly activities for the children to enjoy, along with entertainment, at Sydney’s Circle. Sydney was a Rome child who passed away from heart disease and Sydney’s Circle is a way to honor her memory with a fun-filled morning of activities, according to event organizers. 

There were many vendors at the Expo for the community to visit, including interactive health education and an opportunity to pre-register for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk.

Anyone interested in forming a fundraising team for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk on Saturday, March 2, you can register for the event at www.uticaheartrunwalk.org.

America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk 2019 is locally sponsored by signature sponsor NYCM Insurance; local sponsors Scalzo, Zogby and Wittig, Inc. Insurance; AmeriCU Credit Union, and Carbone Athletics at The Fitness Mill. A minimum amount of $30 in pledges for participants 16 years and older is required at registration to participate in the Heart Run & Walk.

For more information on America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk 2019, individuals can
contact the American Heart Association at 315-580-3964 or visit www.uticaheartrunwalk.org.


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