There have been children who have had open heart surgery before their second birthdays. There have been adults sidelined from running marathons, and some still active with their local fire companies even after open heart surgery.
The Red Cap Ambassadors to America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk look a little different every year, but one thing remains the same: the American Heart Association raises money so they – and all survivors of heart disease and stroke – can live long and happy lives.
The American Heart Association is seeking nominations for its 2021 Red Cap Ambassadors. Red Cap Ambassadors will serve as spokespeople for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk in 2021, helping to inspire others to fight heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association is looking for a diverse group of survivors to remind us all that heart disease and stroke can strike anyone. The 2021 event is set for May 15.
If you know someone who lives with heart disease or stroke and would be willing to raise awareness about the ways the American Heart Association fights heart disease and stroke, the deadline for nominations has been extended until Friday, Dec. 4. You can also nominate yourself. The application is available at UticaHeartRunWalk.org.
Peter Corigliano, 4, was a Red Cap Ambassador for America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk in 2020.
“I chose to nominate Peter as the Red Cap Ambassador because I felt that his story needed to be heard,” said Peter’s mother, Ashley Corigliano. “As a mother of a medically complex child I spent a lot of time researching my child’s conditions and looked for parents and other children who have been through similar surgeries. I wanted people to be able to see and hear Peter’s story and to maybe help someone to know they are not alone. Our experience with Peter as the Red Cap Ambassador was simply amazing. The American Heart Association truly made us feel incredibly comfortable sharing our story, which sometimes can be very difficult. They treated him like a king. We are incredibly grateful to the American Heart Association for allowing us a platform to share Peter’s story.”
“The stories of the Red Cap Ambassadors are the most moving part of America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk,” said Dorothy Sperbeck Cornell, chair of the Red Cap Ambassadors program for America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk. “They remind us that the work of the American Heart Association improves lives right here in the Mohawk Valley. I encourage everyone who knows someone who lives with heart disease or stroke to nominate them to be a Red Cap Ambassador.”
Duties of the Red Cap Ambassadors include:
- Working with American Heart Association volunteers to create a video telling their story
- Speaking at events connected to America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk, which will be digital in 2020 and 2021.
- Being interviewed by media
- Sharing their stories on the American Heart Association’s social media sites
“As Carbone has worked with America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk over the years, I’ve seen how many people are affected by heart disease and stroke,” said Alen Mukic, general manager of Carbone Yorkville, and chair of America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk 2021. “COVID brings increased risk to people with heart disease and stroke, so it’s more important than ever that we raise money to fight these diseases. I hope people nominate their personal heart and stroke heroes to be Red Cap Ambassadors, so we can continue to improve the health of our community.”