By: Amanda Gibson
On Saturday, April 9, our team woke up early and tied our laces to participate in the Hays County Heart Walk in San Marcos, TX. The 5K was sponsored by the American Heart Association and upon signing up the organization asked participants what the “why” was behind participating in the event.
We decided to share out team’s individual why’s because why not?
Our team comes from all different backgrounds but found similar reasons to participate in the 3.1 mile walk toward raising money for heart health research.
Public Relations intern Maggie Sheppard’s why was heart palpitations.
“My grandfather passed away when he was 58 from his third heart attack. My Dad is now 62 and very healthy. However, that wasn’t always the case,” Sheppard said. “When I was younger my dad had to get an emergency stint in his heart to prevent further blockage in his arteries. When your Dad is only a few years younger than the age that his dad passed away from heart problems, it’s very scary to think your dad might suddenly leave you forever. That’s why it’s so important to me to make sure that our hearts stay healthy.”
Journalism intern Rob Miller’s why was because of his family and to help find more research.
“I’m doing the Heart Walk because I’ve seen multiple family members’ health decline rapidly once they started having signs of heart disease, usually combined with respiratory issues. I’ve seen how it impacts the family to see a loved one decline quickly because of heart related issues,” Miller said. “I want to help advance research so that other families don’t have to go through the same thing mine did when my father and grandfather passed.”
Public relations intern Kaci Cunningham’s why was to show a grandma she never met that she cared.
“My why is for my grandma Kathern, who I’m named after,” Cunningham said. “She passed away from a heart attack when my mom was in high school, so I never got the chance to meet her. Doing this walk is my way of showing her I care.”
Journalism intern Amanda May’s why was family.
“I do not have any personal ties to it at all,” May said. “But my why would be family.”
My why was because I come from a family with a history of heart problems that led to the death of my great-grandmother and grandmother. Dealing with those events as a young girl helped grow up with a passion for health and exercise. Plus, anytime I have a chance to participate in an event to help a good cause toward furthering research, why wouldn’t I?
Take the time to be educated on heart health. Be inspired from the stories you find, then be the change by getting up and being active outdoors, maybe invite a few friends to join you too.