It’s time to lace up your sneakers for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk event, this Saturday, September 29th at Kensico Dam in Valhalla. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Heart Walk event nationally. Many local companies and residents have registered teams to walk for their own hearts, for heart and stroke research.
Register or donate online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org
Jennifer Garcia, a 40-year old mom from Peekskill, will be recognized as the Survivor Honoree. Garcia survived a heart attack in February and is sharing her story and walking to help raise awareness and fund research to fight heart disease—the number one killer of men and women.
Garcia experienced chest pain and exhaustion during and after a party in February. The next day, she said head was pounding as if someone was hammering at it, and her blood pressure was sky high. She took her mother’s advice to go to the emergency room. It was a lifesaving decision. The doctor there said the diagnosis wasn’t exhaustion or heartburn, as she had thought–it was a heart attack.
Doctors said that her uncontrolled high blood pressure and possibly her birth control medicine were to blame. The American Heart Association cites research shows that birth control pills can increase blood pressure in some women. It’s more likely to occur if you’re overweight, have had high blood pressure during a previous pregnancy, have a family history of high blood pressure or mild kidney disease. The combination of birth control pills and cigarette use may be especially dangerous for some women.
“I realized that this was my wake-up call to take my health and body seriously. This was a life-changing experience, and probably just what I needed to realize the importance of taking care of myself,” she said, “I’m walking to help raise awareness, and for my health–and I want to be around for my son,” she said.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. In fact, someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 39 seconds. High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking. It’s known as the “silent killer” because often there are no symptoms, despite its role in significantly increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke. Learn more at www.heart.org/highbloodpressure.
The Heart Walk is sponsored Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, Fujifilm, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, Westmed Medical Group, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Zedeker DDS, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, Buzz Creators, and Westchester Magazine.