2016 HEART WALK IN PROVIDENCE AND DARTMOUTH WILL DRAW THOUSANDS!

The American Heart Association’s Southern New England Heart Walk will take place on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at Station Park in Providence. This year, the Heart Walk will feature a second location and date to engage residents from Southeastern Massachusetts, which will take place at UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, May 21, 2016. More than 9,000 are expected to attend the Heart Walk at both locations.

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The American Heart Association’s signature fundraising event, the Heart Walk features a special “heart and stroke survivor” route and a 3.5-mile walk route and will include free health screenings, entertainment, cardiovascular advice from experts, giveaways, a kids’ zone, and healthy snacks.  The Kids Heart Challenge, a ½ mile obstacle course for kids ages 5-12, will also be kicked off after the Heart Walk.

Timothy Babineau, MD, LifeSpan’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will serve as chair of the Southern New England Heart Walk.

“Through education, encouragement and sheer will, we as a community can take that giant step toward our own heart health while inspiring others to do the same. The 2016 Southern New England Heart Walk is an opportunity to take that first step,” said Dr. Babineau. “The event is a fun-filled activity for families, companies and community organizations to rally around a great cause, while also taking advantage of free resources like heart-health information, CPR demonstrations, health screenings and more.”

Heart disease and stroke remain the leading health threats to all Americans. This is what inspires families, friends and co-workers from all over Southern New England to form Heart Walk teams. Many will walk in honor or in memory of loved ones affected by heart disease, stroke and congenital heart defects.

For Rhode Islander Susan Neveux, walking among co-workers and family with Banneker’s Heart Walk team is personal.

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“In some way, we all have been touched by heart disease whether through the loss of a loved one or lives changed as the result of a debilitating cardiac event. I lost my brother Tim to heart disease three years ago,” Neveux shares. “I too am a survivor. My family is affected by heart disease in many ways. Like my Mom and my brothers, I was born with a congenital heart defect known as a mitral valve prolapse.”

Like many other Heart Walk participants, Neveux is inspired to raise awareness and champion healthy living. She explains, “As I looked around Station Park last June at the Heart Walk, I was quite inspired by the sight of so many people coming together as one. I realized that I was not alone in my grief. I did this for Mom and I did this for Tim.”

Jenna Fernandes from North Dartmouth is walking in this year’s Heart Walk at UMASS Dartmouth in celebration of her survival and recovery from V-Fib cardiac arrest last November.

Jenna Fernandes

“I am thrilled to say that I am a walking miracle and deeply thank those who helped to save my life,” Fernandes shares. “After my collapse at the gym, I was worked on non-stop for over twenty minutes. This entailed CPR as well as multiple shocks and a few attempts of intubation. After what seemed to be a lifetime, I finally had a heart rhythm and was just bag-masked to the hospital.”

“Without vital donations that fund the science that saved by life that day and helped develop my new implanted heart device, I don’t know if I would be here. I am forever thankful that I was saved and at the young age of 34 and that I’m able to enjoy my two beautiful daughters (4 years old and 19 months old) as they grow and experience life,” she explains. “As a survivor of cardiac arrest, I truly appreciate and feel gratitude for those that help in even the smallest way because it’s those small things that make such a difference. I owe my life to the first responders, hospital staff and the research funded by the American Heart Association to develop lifesaving technology.”

The 2015 Heart Walk drew more than 7,000 participants and raised over $617,000 for the fight against heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association uses the funds raised through the Heart Walk to finance cutting-edge scientific research, conduct public and professional educational programs and advocate for public health. In Rhode Island and Massachusetts alone, the American Heart Association funded more than $29.9 million in scientific research last year.

The Heart Walk is nationally sponsored by Subway. Top local sponsors include: Lifespan, Boston Scientific, Care New England, CVS Health, Adler Pollock & Sheehan, Bristol County Savings Bank, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, G Lopes Construction, Landmark Medical Center, Textron, Southcoast Health System, Bryant University Physician Assistant Program, C&S Insurance, CharterCARE Health Partners, Duffy & Shanley, Hawthorn Medical Associates, Mechanics Cooperative Bank, Navigant Credit Union, South County Health, St. Anne’s Hospital, Tufts Health Plan, and UnitedHealthcare/Optum. Media sponsors include NBC10 WJAR TV, Coast 93.3 Radio, B101 Radio and RIPTA.

For more information on Heart Walk teams, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please call 401-228-2325 or visit www.SNEHeartWalk.org. #ProvHeartWalk #SNEHeartWalk

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About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.heart.org/sne. Connect locally with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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