NSU will host the American Heart Association’s Broward Heart Walk on April 23 with the check-in beginning at 8 a.m. and the walk beginning at 9 a.m.
According to the American Heart Association, the Heart Walk raises money for research and work towards treating and preventing heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., with stroke at number five. This year, the goal is to raise $1,250,000.
President George Hanbury said that community is one of NSU’s core values, and it is essential to support the community, both financially and otherwise.
“Opening up our university to the community is part of giving back to the public. The Heart Walk is important for me, not so much to give back financially but to give back educationally to the community and support. Not so much giving money to the Heart Walk, but participating in it,” Hanbury said.
Hanbury said that this is an issue relevant on our campus as well, as so many people are affected by heart disease.
Brandon Hesler, executive director of public relations and marketing at NSU, has personal ties to the Heart Walk. He has lost loved ones and relatives to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. He has participated in the walk in the past and continues to show his support.
“My maternal grandfather had a series of heart attacks and only had about 25 percent function in his heart,” he said. “At the time, the doctors gave him six months to live. Then he started walking five miles every morning and five miles every day after work, and he ended up living for 20 more years.”
Hesler said that events like the Heart Walk help spread the message about keeping your heart healthy, identifying problems early on and finding ways to prevent heart issues from becoming terminal diseases.
This year, Hanbury asked his president’s council, which is his group of vice presidents and deans, to put together a team to show NSU spirit.
“We’re putting together a team from our department, and we’ll have shirts with catchy slogans and all that. We’re definitely looking forward to it,” Hesler said.
“It’s not something you can say, ‘Well, I’ll wait until I have a heart attack to start being physically fit,’” Hanbury said. “You don’t need to be a bodybuilder; you don’t need to be a marathon runner. All you have to do is move.”
For more information on the walk or to register, visit browardheartwalk.org or call Wendy Davis at 954-364-5008.