Wilsonians to walk for heart health

April 21 Heart Walk sets $150,000 fundraising goal

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The American Heart Association’s Wilson Heart Walk will be held Saturday, April 21 at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf. Registration and activities will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m.

This year’s walk takes place during National Move More Month. Each April, the American Heart Association celebrates physical activity and encourages all Americans to commit to being more active on a regular basis to positively affect their heart and brain health.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans.  An average of one death every 39 seconds occurs due to heart disease and stroke.  

According to the 2017 State of the County Health Report, heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Wilson County. Stroke, the No. 5 killer in the U.S., is the third leading cause of death in the county, significantly higher than the state of North Carolina. Thirty-seven percent of Wilson County adults are obese, 7 percent higher than the state average of 30 percent.

Walkers hope to raise $150,000 to support heart disease and stroke research and education programs that benefit the community and the American Heart Association’s mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke for all. Research funded by the American Heart Association has been responsible for advances such as bypass surgery, life extending drug therapies and CPR.

Will Aycock, general manager of Greenlight Community Broadband, serves as chairman of the Wilson Heart Walk.

“It has been an honor to lead the Wilson Heart Walk this year,” said Aycock. “We are excited about the walk and encourage the community to join us as we work to bring the mission of the American Heart Association to life and create a true culture of health and wellness in Wilson.”

Walkers will enjoy Healthy For Good activities along the 1-mile or 3-mile route such as a vacuum relay race and bubble wrap stomp, receive helpful heart-healthy living tips and screenings, and they can get moving with warm-up activities. Kids’ games and activities like face-painting and balloon art will be available in the Kids Zone for children and families.

Teams consist of walkers representing local companies and include family and friends of all ages. Heart disease and stroke survivors will be provided with red or white ball caps that read “Fighting Back” to honor their battle against cardiovascular disease.

The Wilson Heart Walk is locally sponsored by Greenlight Community Broadband, Smithfield Foods, Wilson Medical Center, Hubert Vester Auto Group, Merck, Bridgestone Americas, Watson Electrical and First Citizens Bank. 

Teams can sign up to participate and make a donation at www.wilsonncheartwalk.org or contact Erin Fox, American Heart Association development director, at erin.fox@heart.org, or 252-559-0026 to learn more.