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12 Nov 2021

Walking In Rhythm

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November 12, 2021 Category: Local Posted by:

During last weekend’s American Heart Association Heart Walk, over 2,500 people took to the streets to do their part to end heart disease.

By Denise Clay-Murray

Wearing a “Happy Birthday” crown and dressed in the signature red of the American Heart Association, Dawn Angelique Roberts was ready to do her part to raise money for heart research during the annual American Heart Walk.

Roberts, a prolific marathoner that co-owns a marketing company that specializes in elite level road races, had gathered a group of friends and family to walk with her as team “Health is Wealth” in celebration of her special day.

Because she’s easily one of the healthiest people you’ll ever meet, it’s hard to believe that someone like Roberts would need the services of the Heart Association. 

“I was always promoting a healthy lifestyle,” the decorated runner said. “It’s part of my mission and everything I do.”

But when her daily runs started leading to chest pain, and after being told by doctors that her healthiness made any heart problems impossible, Roberts found a cardiologist that discovered a 99% blockage in her heart’s left artery, commonly known as a “widowmaker.”

So, the Heart Association became a part of her mission as well, Roberts said. 

About 2,500 people took to the streets near Citizens Bank Park last Saturday for the annual American Heart Association Heart Walk.

Despite the brisk weather, people brought their friends, family and co-workers to the event, which raises money for research and assistance to those who have been impacted by heart disease and stroke.

While last year’s walk was completely virtual due to the pandemic, this year’s walk was a bit of a hybrid, said Earnestine Walker, executive director of the Heart Association. People had the option of coming to CBP or staying in their neighborhood to participate in the walk, she said. So while the gathering at the park was smaller than usual, the number of participants in the walk overall was significant, she said.

It was also a chance to honor those who have made healthcare their focus, Walker said.

“We honored heroes,” she said. “So, as you walked around, you saw heroes, people that we really wanted to honor either for their work in health care, or for making significant changes in their health.”

The walkers had the option of taking a 1-, 2- or 3-mile trail as part of the walk which started at Citizens Bank Park and wound its way through FDR Park. People used the occasion to walk their dogs, take babies out in strollers and otherwise get some exercise as part of the walk.

This year’s walk raised a total of $1,810,000. Sponsors for the event included Comcast, Colonial Penn Insurance, the Einstein Health Center, Temple Health and Independence Blue Shield.

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