Make the Heart Walk a family tradition


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We have a family tradition each year. On a September morning, we join with thousands of other people to support the fight against the No. 1 and No. 4 killers in the United States – heart disease and stroke.

The American Heart Association will host its annual Heart Walk on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, on the streets of downtown Dallas. UT Southwestern is a partner in the three-mile walk again this year, and I will be there with my family.

Dr. Ken Cooper started the Heart Walk right here in Dallas in 1994. More than 300 Heart Walks are now held in cities across the country, including 26 in Texas. The Dallas Heart Walk is the largest in the country. Last year, more than 60,000 people helped raise about $5.5 million.

This free event, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is important in so many ways:

  • It raises money for the American Heart Association, funding research at UT Southwestern and other institutions that will ultimately help people prevent heart disease and stroke and live better lives.
  • It raises money the American Heart Association can use to promote wellness initiatives and programs for survivors of heart disease and stroke.
  • It reminds people about the importance of fighting heart disease and honors those who have lost their battle against the disease.
  • It empowers people to do something about the disease that kills more Americans each year than any other.

Our UT Southwestern team will be out in force again this year. We’re hoping to have 3,000 people at the event, after 2,500 participated last year. I would like to personally invite you to help us flood the streets for this family-friendly event. We’d love to have you join our team.

Three years ago, my kids were in strollers for the Heart Walk. This year, they probably will walk the route. They've grown up around it, as have dozens of other kids.

UPDATE (Sept. 15, 2014): Wow! With 3,160 walkers participating, UT Southwestern had the biggest team at the 2014 Dallas Heart Walk. More than $38,500 has been raised, and donations are still coming in. Thank you for your support!

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The UT Southwestern Team at the 2014 Dallas Heart Walk.