More than 400 braved wet conditions for the annual North Country Heart Walk

Published: Apr. 29, 2023 at 4:53 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Despite rainy weather, more than 400 walkers took the trek to help fund research into heart issues, and honor those affected by them. And with it, this year’s North Country Heart Walk kicked off.

“The heart walk is a great way for communities, families, and survivors to get together to celebrate a loved one or celebrate yourself,” said Wendy Hinman, a North Country Heart Walk Chairperson.

“All of the people behind us are people who have either suffered or died from a heart attack or stroke,” said Stacy Spaziani.

Survivors took part received red flowers.

We caught up to one who the American Heart Association has named an inspirational honoree.

“I walk because it’s the reality that I am a survivor and I also walk for those who weren’t as fortunate as me to survive,” said Cortney Richter, who survived cardiac arrest.

Another objective of theirs is education since heart issues are more common that one might think.

“Heart disease is unfortunately our number one killer, but it’s something that people don’t necessarily think about. It’s just our heart. We take it for granted sometimes,” said Kristy Smorol, Communications Director of the American Heart Association.

But there are recommendations for mitigating those risks.

“Heart disease is 80% preventable with lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco. Those things can make a huge difference in your health,” said Smorol.

The Heart Walk raised $150,000. The donation window on the American Heart Association’s website will remain open until May 29th.