Heart Walk inspires thousands to walk for a cause

Heart Walk inspires thousands to walk for a cause (Image 1)

Saturday, some 10,000 people laced up for the American Heart Association's biggest fundraiser of the year.

The heart walk means much more than a stroll through town, especially to Abigail Ellis.

“I was born with a heart defect and my arteries were switched,” Ellis said. “The American Heart Association has just been a big part of my life.”

While Ellis was born with several serious heart defects, doctors say your lifestyle can prevent the No. 1 killer of Americans from taking over.

Exercise stations, demonstrations, games and educational booths filled the Vanderbilt sports field to help get people moving.

The event even brought out actress Nicole Sullivan on behalf of Jenny Craig.

“I'm here today to talk about how I lost 35 pounds and made my life a lot healthier,” said the actress best known for her roles on MadTV and King of Queens.  “A lot of people can do the same thing. Any way you can lose the weight and it's really important because heart disease is the number one killer of women in the country.”

Sweet words from participants filled the center of the activities.  Some honored those that have lost their lives to the disease and others expressing their love for those who are survivors like Ellis.

The American Heart Association had a goal of raising $1.75 million to support education and research.

The event was free, but donations were encouraged.

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