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American Heart Association holds annual Heart Walk

Posted at 3:08 AM, Sep 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 23:13:29-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The American Heart Association hosted its annual Heart Walk at Cascades Park.

Hundreds of people packed Cascades Park on Thursday night for the American Heart Association's 25th Annual Heart Walk. The event raises money to fight heart disease and other cardiac problems.

But Tallahassee's regional director of The American Heart Association. Todd Kuntz, says this event is about more than just raising money.

"Today is just so special because it's our big chance to celebrate the survivors in our community and fighters and the folks affected by heart disease," Kuntz says. "You know, everyone come together and remember and think about the ones we loved and lost and the ones who survived it."

The Heart Walk expects to raise about $140,000. One woman who received a heart transplant, Libby Smith, says with that money at stake, the community support is amazing.

"Heart research has come such a long long way," Smith says, "and I witnessed that through my trials with heart problems here in Tallahassee and then through my heart transplant, so definitely to see all these people it is extremely rewarding."

Smith is not the only heart patient walking the three-mile track. Dennis Murphy currently deals with heart issues, but he could not miss a chance to support the fight against one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

"I like this activity and being a part of it and joining with so many other people to enjoy this wonderful evening," Murphy says.

Many others showed up to support the community, including Kim Shipp, a nurse manager at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

"I am a cardiac nurse by heart," she says, "so it has always been my passion, it is always what I wanted to be and that is what I do. Heart disease - I see it with my patients, I see it in the community, see it with your own parents and it is really important to me. "