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Sugar House Journal

American Heart Association hosts Heart and Stroke Walk in Sugar House Park

Oct 05, 2021 09h46 ● By Anagha Rao

By Anagha Rao | [email protected] 

The American Heart Association (AHA) hosted its 30th annual Heart and Stroke Walk, the premier fundraising event for raising funds for heart disease and stroke research. On Sept. 19, this event took place at Sugar House Park from 8:20 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 

The event was started by the association to help raise awareness for heart disease. Rather than doing a traditional fundraiser, this organization hosted a 5K walk to unite the community for better health by invigorating people to live heart-healthy lifestyles. 

The event was free and suitable for everyone of all ages and abilities. 

All funds raised by the event support groundbreaking heart and brain research. The funds will also support the American Heart Association’s mission to champion health equity for all. So far, the Heart and Stroke Walk has raised $473,463.03. Their total goal is $565,000. 

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the walk had rolling start times. Start times began at 8:20 a.m. for corporate groups or teams. Family and community teams began at 8:40 a.m. People not affiliated with these groups were able to walk anytime between 8:20 and 8:40 a.m. 

For people uncomfortable with attending a large event, there were still ways to contribute. People were able to pick a location of their choice and log their activity. This year, the AHA put together a Heart On-Demand Playlist, a collection of music to inspire people to keep walking. 

This event also allows heart disease and stroke survivors to connect with other survivors. Survivors were given either a commemorative red or white ball cap at the event. Child survivors were also given a chance to wear a superhero cape that celebrates them. 

Initially, this walk was named the Heart Walk. About 10 years ago, the AHA decided to include stroke because they wanted people to realize that cardiovascular disease includes stroke. 

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Utah. Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. When a person is experiencing a stroke, it’s important to know the signs. A good way to remember it is through FAST. The F stands for facial drooping. This is when one side of the face seems to be sagging when they smile. A stands for arm weakness. When they raise their arms, is one arm weaker than the other? S stands for speech difficulty. When they speak, are they slurring their words? T stands for time. If a person is experiencing any of these symptoms even acutely, call 911 immediately. 

The American Heart Association is the largest volunteer-run health organization. They work to help the public make informed decisions to prevent heart disease and stroke. One of their current campaigns is to help educate the public about hands-only CPR. 

According to the association, “Hands-only CPR is an easy-to-remember and effective option for people who have been trained in CPR before but are afraid to help because they are not confident that they can remember and perform the steps of conventional CPR.” 

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