In #RaiseMKE

Make a positive difference in the lives of many Americans, and in the local community, by being a Heartwalker. (PHOTO: American Heart Association Wisconsin-Facebook)

Greater Milwaukee Heart & Stroke Walk/Run sets off Sunday at Veterans Park

This Sunday, thousands will join together for the 2017 Greater Milwaukee Heart & Stroke Walk/Run along the lakefront at Veterans Park. The American Heart Association, which organizes the event and has raised more than $800,000, is hoping to reach its donation goal of $1 million.

This year's Heart Walk is being chaired by Bucks President Peter Feigin, who, with Dr. George Korkos, has personally raised $174,000 so far. The team is the top organization donor, with more than $195,000 collected.

Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the United States, according to the AHA. The event on Sunday will help raise awareness and funds for research, community health programs and CPR training.

One of this year's walkers is Michael Saxby, a native of Waunakee, who last year collapsed during a high school basketball game from sudden cardiac arrest. The odds of surviving such an event are extremely low, but a successful chain of survival, which included an AED being present in the facility and a trainer administering successful CPR, saved Saxby's life.

Saxby was later diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which makes it hard for the heart to pump blood. Since being diagnosed, Saxby has been outspoken about his heart condition and working to ensure that all schools have working AEDs.

As for this year's event, the 5K run starts at 8:15 a.m., while the walk – a route of one or three miles, or a 5K) will begin at 10:15 a.m. from Veterans Park, 1300 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr. To register, donate or learn more about the 2017 Greater Milwaukee Heart & Stroke Walk/Run, click here.

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