Camille Freeman is excited about the Heart & Stroke Walk coming to her hometown for the first time on October 26.
Camille and her family have been participating in the American Heart Association’s annual fundraiser in Los Angeles for seven years and look forward to celebrating their 8th year at the walk to celebrate life and join the fight against heart disease and stroke – the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers.
Looking at Camille, you would never guess that she was born with a heart defect that almost took her life before she even had the chance to live it. She was kept alive with machines and medications until she was 10 days old and ready for open-heart surgery. Thanks to advances in cardiovascular research and medicine, Camille is now a thriving 8-year-old who loves to dance, ride rollercoasters and all things Spongebob.
“We are confident that Camille would not be here today if it weren’t for the American Heart Association and the fundraising work that they do. The procedure performed on Camille had only been practiced for about 15 years. This means decades ago some caring people were raising money for research and helping make the necessary advances in technology and medicine that saved our little girl’s life,” said Camille’s mom, Katie Freeman.
Funds raised at the Santa Clarita Heart & Stroke Walk, which takes place at the Westfield Valencia Town Center, support the AHA’s research efforts aimed at better understanding, treating and preventing heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. The money raised at the event also benefits the association’s community education outreach and patient care improvement initiatives.
Everyone is invited to join the fight against heart disease and stroke by forming a team with family, friends or coworkers and signing up on www.GLACountyHeartWalk.org. There is no fee to participate in the event. Individuals who raise $100 or more will receive an official Heart & Stroke Walk T-shirt.
The Heart & Stroke Walk, sponsored nationally by Subway and Jenny Craig and locally by Union Bank and UCLA Health, is a family event featuring a non-competitive 5-kilometer walk/run and one-mile Survivor Path. Other highlights include a Health and Wellness Expo, Survivor Lounge, Kids Zone featuring games and educational information promoting heart health, VIP Tent for sponsors and top fundraisers and live entertainment.
Santa Clarita is one of seven locations in LA County that will host the Greater Los Angeles Heart & Stroke Walk. Walks will also take place in Antelope Valley, Pomona, Pasadena, Downtown LA, Santa Monica and Long Beach. The goal is to raise a combined $1.75 million.
Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases claim more than 831,000 lives every year. In Los Angeles County, more than 16,000 men, women and children die of these diseases each year. While heart disease and stroke mortality dropped significantly between 1997 and 2007, heart disease deaths remain 12 percent higher in LA County than the U.S. as a whole.
The AHA’s mission is building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and its goal by 2020 is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.
For more information about the 2013 Santa Clarita Heart & Stroke Walk, visit www.GLACountyHeartWalk.org or call Alisha Castro at (213) 291-7094.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.
About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is dedicated to prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke — a leading cause of death and serious disability. We fund scientific research, help people better understand and avoid stroke, encourage government support, guide healthcare professionals and provide information to enhance the quality of life for stroke survivors. We were created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org.