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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Hundreds of Shoelaces Tightly Tied For Mile-long Heart Walk

People around Suffolk County joined together for the Start! Heart Walk on Saturday to support the efforts of the American Heart Association. According to the American Heart Association, every 38 seconds someone dies from cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of Americans.

The walk was the second event held by the American Heart Association and the Stony Brook University Medical Center. It was chaired by Dr. Lee Anne Xippolitos,  dean of the Stony Brook University School of Nursing and co-chaired by Dr. Luis Gruberg, director of Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratories and Dr. Todd Rosengart, co-director of the Stony Brook University Heart Center.  This year, more than $90,000 was raised, according to the Heart Walk website.

“The Heart Walk is a great reason to walk on a Saturday morning,” said senior Alex Alvarez, an English and business major, and president of Alternative Spring Break Outreach, one of the many groups who came out to support the cause.

Registration began at 8:30 a.m.  Participants were able to walk around the surrounding tents where food and drinks were available.  Walkers could receive blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screening courtesy of the Stony Brook Medical Center, or get a hand-only CPR demonstration sponsored by the Allstate Life Insurance Company.  The Kids Zone offered activities including pumpkin painting, jump rope, magic and face painting.

The Spirit of Stony Brook groups were there to provide entertainment.  Wolfie rode around on his motorbike, and the marching band, cheerleaders and dance team pumped up the crowd before the walk began.

“It’s very festive.  A lot of people are here so, it seems good,” observed sophomore Kimberly Waletitsch, a health sciences major, walking in honor of her grandfather, who almost died from a heart attack.

Money raised from the Heart Walk will go toward raising awareness and research to help heart disease and stroke patients.  After a warm-up exercise, participants turned their attention toward the 2010 Red Cap Ambassador, Elena Meissner, who cut the ribbon.  Walkers then began on their choice of a 3-mile or 1-mile route around campus.

“For me today is really a wonderful day,” Dr. Xippolitos said during the opening ceremony.  “It’s a day that each of us takes one gigantic step closer to a better life, a healthier life, not only for ourselves, but for our families and for the future generations.”

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