Every single year, Utica College hosts America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk to benefit the American Heart Association.
I’ve lived in Utica my whole life and the weekend of the heart walk is always a huge event. The local news stations cover it from start to finish and if you aren’t walking, believe me you are hearing about it all day.
Friday night is the heart expo in UC’s gym. Saturday is the walk. The streets are blocked off for miles, and for good reason, considering they’re flooded with people. As I’m walking I always think, “wow, what about the people that live in these houses? They aren’t going anywhere today.”
I’m weird in this way, but I take on other people’s pain. In seeing how many people come out to support this cause, I know there has been a lot of pain and a lot of loss. And in the same breath, I know there is a lot of love and a lot of passion at the walk.
I’ve heard stories of both survival and loss. I’ve walked beside friends, acquaintances and strangers. I’ve seen my own mother struggle with the passing of her father, who passed of a massive heart attack at 46. All of these things make me appreciate the event and the people that work to make it happen all the more.
In the past, I walked with Sarah’s Angels, as did my entire high school. And this year, I got the pleasure to walk with team Maneen.
But, it really doesn’t matter what team you’re on because we are all walking to support the same cause. We are all walking to promote healthy lifestyles and raise money to fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
This year, almost $770,000 was raised and I’m so happy that I was able to be a part of it.
Me & my boyfriend, Eric all bundled up at the walk on Saturday, March 5.