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Over 500 people walk to raise money for heart disease stroke prevention

first_imgAs she addressed hundreds of people on a sunny Sunday in Esther Short Park, Molly Burdick recalled a darker time.In 2011, Burdick went to the hospital with a heart rate of 180 beats per minute. She choked up as she discussed her mindset that night and in the years since, including bouts with post-traumatic stress disorder, inability to live a normal life and doubts about whether her son, a toddler at the time, would ever truly know her.But her son is now 10 years old, and on May 11, she will begin competing for a spot on “American Ninja Warrior.”“We’re all gathered here to support the same thing,” Burdick told the crowd. “I’m living my dream today, and I want today to be the day that you pursue your dreams.”Shortly after, more than 500 walkers began the American Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke Walk. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the causes of more than 13,000 deaths in Washington each year and two of the leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the association.“It’s a cause that affects everybody, so I think that’s what led to the big draw,” said Lanette Trickey, the executive director for American Heart Association Oregon & Southwest Washington.Nearly everyone in the walk Sunday raised their hands when asked if they’ve personally suffered from heart disease or stroke or know a loved one who has.last_img read more