BANGOR, Maine — Maine residents who have been touched by heart disease didn’t let a little rain stop them from supporting the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk at Husson University on Saturday.
“It went surprisingly well, despite the weather,” Brenda Quinn, spokeswoman for the local event, said Sunday.
With cold, heavy rain falling on Saturday morning, walkers took to the track by Husson’s O’Donnell Commons, where breakfast was provided by Hannaford supermarkets. Lunch was provided by Subway later in the day to end the event.
“We had some really committed groups of people — people that are connected to heart disease, as patients or through family members, and really wanted to come out” and support the event, Quinn said.
Participants walked a 1-, 2-, 3- or 4-mile route and raised money through pledges along the way.
“Our goal was around 78,000,” Quinn said, adding that with money still rolling in the total wasn’t available Sunday. “Last year we raised over $60,000. A lot of that money comes back to Maine” to pay for programs, such as Jump Rope for Heart, and lifesaving research.
Survivor Shelly Bailey of Bangor was on hand to share her story of congestive heart failure at age 37.
“She really didn’t think she had heart disease,” Quinn said. “She thought she had allergies and a little cough.”
Bailey was supported at the event with her husband, two children and her parents, Quinn said.
Heart Walk 2009 Chairman Eric Strout, owner of Glenburn-Hudson Ambulance and an assistant manager at Hannaford, said a big goal of the event is to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke.
“It’s the number one killer of women, and stroke is number three,” Quinn said. “It’s been the number one killer of women since 1984. It’s taken some time” to educate people about the dangers.