Sunday, September 18, 2011


Usually I take a Sunday Scribblings writing prompt and try to make myself come up with some fiction for my post. But I'm not doing that today.

I'm one week away from participating in the Triangle Area Heart Walk down in Raleigh. So I'm using the writing prompt as my last ditch effort to raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association.

A few weeks ago I first mentioned that I had committed to walking with a team of my former coworkers at the bank that I left in Raleigh. And now the time is upon us. When I registered, I set a personal fundraising goal of $250 and at this point I'm a little more than half way there.

I can't meet the rest of my goal without your help. Donating is just about the easiest thing you can do. On the right side of my page, just above my picture, there's a link to my donation page. If you want to give, all you have to do is click that picture and you'll be taken to the site that lets you decide how much or how little you want to give. Remember, every little bit helps.

What does your money help the American Heart Association to do? Well, here it is in their words:
  • Improving patient care - We're improving the quality of health care by creating best practices for treating heart disease and stroke. Our Get With The Guidelines hospital-based quality improvement program helps heart and stroke patients get the best treatment consistently. Mission: Lifeline helps patients with the most severe kind of heart attack get the specialized emergency services they need to survive.
  • Advocating for better health - Our nationwide volunteer network, You're The Cure, advocates for key issues at the national, state and local levels such as requiring physical education in schools, clean air legislation and making AEDs mandatory in public buildings.
  • Reaching out to populations at risk - Blacks have higher risk and higher death rates from stroke than whites. Our Power To End Stroke education/awareness initiative helps African Americans share information to reduce their risk of stroke. More than 23,000 key opinion leaders, including mayors, professors, ministers and celebrities, have been recruited to be ambassadors working within their own community.
  • Raising awareness - Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women over age 25, but many women don't make their own health a priority. Through Go Red For Women, we're raising awareness among women about their risks and empowering them to protect their heart health.
  • Protecting the future - Nearly one in three children and teens in the United States is overweight or obese. As a result, more kids than ever before are developing high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. We are helping kids develop lifelong healthy habits and working to make sure that today's children can grow up to be tomorrow's healthy adults.
  • Educating Americans - We save lives every day by offering information and education. We pioneered CPR and millions of Americans use our patient education materials and online tools to help themselves and their loved ones live longer, healthier lives.
And I'm not just doing this because it gives me an excuse to go back to Raleigh to visit some friends that I've left behind. That's just a happy side effect. This is a cause that I can believe in. It's a cause to which I have a personal connection. My Dad had a lot of health issues during the last 10 or so years of his life. Heart disease was among those issues. When he passed away, the only physical explanation that a doctor could give was that his heart simply gave out. This was eight years after he underwent quadruple bypass surgery.

We're coming up on a full five years since the night he passed away. And I can't think of a better way to honor his memory than to help an organization that is working to improve the lives of fathers and mothers and grandparents and grandchildren across the country.

To those who have already given, thank you. And to those who have yet to give, thank you in advance. After next week, I'll gladly share with you just how the Heart Walk went. I'll even upload pictures.

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