Great Lakes Bay Region Heart Walk May 14th - WNEM TV 5

Great Lakes Bay Region Heart Walk May 14th

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Every 40 seconds a person in the United States dies of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.  This startling statistic is one of the reasons why the Heart Association is hosting their annual Great Lakes Bay Region Heart Walk, tomorrow on May 14th.

“The Great Lakes Bay Region Heart Walk is a free event and an exciting opportunity for everyone to engage with the mission of the American Heart Association,” said director of corporate events, Rodney Parkkonen. “We encourage people to fund raise and make a personal donation as well as try Hands-Only CPR, learn the warning signs of a stroke F.A.S.T, and go for a heart healthy walk with family, friends, coworkers, and the community.”

According to the American Heart Association, every day, about 2,150 Americans die because of cardiovascular disease, making it the number one killer in the United States.  Strokes claim the lives of nearly 129,000 lives each year making it the number five killer of all Americans.  Events like the Heart Walk help raise the necessary funds to continue life-saving research and education.

“The fundraising that occurs at the Great Lakes Bay Region Heart Walk helps fund necessary research in Michigan and beyond,” Parkkonen continued. “In 2014 the Association raised just over $6.5 million through events like Heart Walk. That same year we funded over $10 million in research in Michigan alone. The fundraising we do today can impact lives in the Great Lakes Bay Region for years to come and we appreciate the community getting behind our mission for a healthier tomorrow.” 

The Heart Walk takes place on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at Krossroads Park in Saginaw. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk will kick off at 9:30 a.m. While it is free to participate in the walk, walkers that raise a minimum of $100 will receive a t-shirt.

The Heart Walk is a noncompetitive three mile walk, however, walkers do not need to complete the entire route. Attendees will also have a chance to try their hand at Hands-Only CPR.

“3 out of every 4 cardiac arrests occur in the home,” said Parkkonen. “The life you save will likely be one of the people you care about most. This is one of the main reasons Hands-Only CPR will be such a big part of our event and a great opportunity for people to learn how easy it is to perform, yet so critical.”

Attendees will also be able to learn the signs of stroke – FAST: F- face drooping, A- arms numb, S- speech slurred, and T- time to call 911.  “When someone is having a stroke, time is critical. The faster the warning signs are recognized the faster proper care can be administered and the better the chances for a healthy recovery,” Parkkonen said. “ 

To get involved with the Heart Walk, visit Your participation in the event will help raise funds and know that you are making a difference for all those affected by stroke, heart disease, congenital heart defects, diabetes, and more.

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