The Austin Heart and Stroke Walk stepped off in South Austin Saturday morning. 

With COVID-19 protocols in place, the event returned to the Long Center for the Performing Arts, raising close to a million dollars for the American Heart Association. FOX 7 Austin is a proud sponsor of the walk.

Many of those who walked are survivors themselves. Brivey Myles-Anderson had two heart attacks in the span of five years. After the second one, she had successful quadruple bypass surgery. However, she’s walking not just as a survivor, but also in memory of her parents.

With COVID-19 protocols in place, the event returned to the Long Center for the Performing Arts, raising close to a million dollars for the American Heart Association.

“I was 15 when my mom deceased and 19 when my father deceased. Both died instantaneously with heart attacks. I was able to be revived both times, but they died instantly,” said Myles-Anderson.

In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States—but here in Austin, the effects are even more devastating for people of color.

“We know that stroke and heart attack impacts our community disproportionately,” said Karl Nichols, president of the nonprofit 100 Black Men of Austin.

Nichols says his group is walking to bring more awareness about the prevalence of heart disease, and what can be done to change the statistics.

“This is a preventable disease. It’s something that if we just walk more, get more activity eat better, a lot of those things can be righted. Now of course there’s a lot of important research and medicine that needs to be taken care of as a part of this work, but we’re here to support this event,” said Nichols.

With COVID-19 protocols in place, the event returned to the Long Center for the Performing Arts, raising close to a million dollars for the American Heart Association.

That message of prevention—by making healthy lifestyle choices and listening to your body—is one that Myles-Anderson hopes people remember long after the walk is over.

“Be aware. Know your body. Because anything out of the norm, you want to get checked out. People think it could be something very small, very minimal, and it could be something very tragic,” said Myles-Anderson.

If you missed Saturday’s event, there are two alternate routes you can walk anytime Sunday—along the Mueller Trail and the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. For more information, click here.

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