Many expected for Heart Walk’s Saturday event

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 3, 2000

The Exchange Club Park will be overflowing with energeticwalkers Saturday morning as Lincoln County residents bring a largefundraising effort to an end.

Lincoln County’s Heart Walk 2000 will begin at 8 a.m. as afinale to fundraising for the American Heart Association over thelast two months, and as a celebration for everyone’s efforts.

“The Lincoln County Heart Walk is about celebrating thesurvivors of heart disease and stroke and the volunteers in thecommunity who have recognized the importance of raising Heart Walkdollars,” said Bella Douglas, Heart Walk Specialist.

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This year’s event is expected to draw a crowd of at least 400walkers, who will begin with an exercise warm-up at 8:15 a.m.

Heart Walk 2000 will concentrate on more than just walking,though. Douglas said many other activities are planned around theevent.

“It’s going to be different this year,” said Douglas. “Peopleare going to have a little more fun.”

The Brookhaven Fitness Center will conduct fitness analyses,King’s Daughters Medical Center will give CPR and AEDdemonstrations, while Brookhaven Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinicwill administer stroke screens with concentrations on cholesterollevels, glucose, blood pressure, basic education and awareness.

“It’s a good way to educate the community on the signs andsymptoms of stroke, which is the nation’s number three killer,”added Douglas.

Every 53 seconds, someone suffers from a stroke, and every 33seconds someone has a heart attack. Around 600,000 Americans sufferfrom a stroke every year, and many do not know the signs andsymptoms.

“Typically, only about 26 percent of people can name one sign orsymptom of a stroke, and because of that, people tend to waitbefore they seek help,” said Douglas.

Douglas pointed out that it is very critical to know the signsof stroke, which include pain in the shoulder and neck, squeezingpain in the chest and numbness of one or both arms. She said peopleshould act quickly when they suspect they are having a strokebecause there is only a three-hour time period after the onset ofsymptoms for doctors to administer a life-saving drug.

The increased attempts to raise awareness and knowledge aboutstroke and heart disease are part of the American HeartAssociation’s goal to reduce deaths and disabilities from heartdisease by 25 percent before 2010.

Fundraising efforts will also play a big role in meeting thatgoal, said Douglas, because funds are used to support heartresearch.

Heart research has already had an effect all over the UnitedStates, helping spare lives because of advances in technology. ManyLincoln County residents, such as the Heart Walk Poster ChildPowell Smith, fall into that category, said Douglas.

She encourages all heart disease and stroke survivors to comeout and participate in Heart Walk 2000.

“They are why we are walking,” she said. “We want the survivorsto come out and be a part of the Red Cap program.”

The Red Cap program honors survivors by allowing them to leadthe walk. Survivors can sign up and receive their red captomorrow.

Pre-registration for all walkers begins at 7:30 a.m. Walkerdollars may also turn in their money at that time.