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Local stroke survivor April Andrews to lead Berks County Heart Walk

Sep 18, 2017 • by American Heart Association
April Andrews

Heart Walk to feature health screenings, CPR demonstration, games, fitness demos

Reading, Pa.— When the Berks County Heart Walk steps off Sept. 23 at Gring’s Mill Recreation Area, a local stroke survivor will lead the way. April Andrews of Douglassville, will serve as inspiration for walkers as she shares her story as the honored survivor. Festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. and the walk steps off at 9 a.m.

This past June, April was returning from a trip to Canada when she began to feel that something was not right. By the time she arrived home, her face had begun drooping and she felt weakness on her left side. Her family recognized that these symptoms were warning signs of a stroke and called 9-1-1. Doctors at Reading Hospital confirmed that she was having a stroke and, after treatment, she was transferred to HealthSouth Reading Rehabilitation Hospital for occupational, physical and speech therapy. She returned home after three weeks of therapy, but continues her outpatient therapy to this day.

“My stroke has affected my life in many ways, but I haven’t allowed it to affect my positive attitude,” said April. “I am feeling much better and thank my family, friends and care team for being my support system.”

Prior to the walk, participants can take advantage of healthy activities, free blood pressure screenings, Hands-Only CPR demonstrations, health information, activities for kids and healthy snacks. After brief opening ceremonies, walkers will depart on a 1-mile or 3-mile walk through Gring’s Mill Recreation Area.

The offering of healthy activities and education for all ability levels and interests at the Heart Walk is part of the American Heart Association’s new Healthy For Good initiative to encourage individuals to make lasting change to their health and life, one small step at a time. Healthy For Good is focused on four key areas: eat smart, add color, move more, and be well.

Walkers who raise a minimum of $100 will receive a Heart Walk t-shirt and the opportunity to receive additional prizes based on their fundraising levels. Dollars raised will support the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers, through supporting heart disease and stroke research, health care quality improvement, advocacy, prevention and education.

The 2017 Berks County Heart Walk is chaired by Amy Team, CEO of HealthSouth Reading Rehabilitation Hospital. The Heart Walk is sponsored locally by East Penn Manufacturing, HealthSouth Reading Rehabilitation Hospital, EnerSys, Reading Health System, Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare and Stevens & Lee.

For more information about the Berks County Heart Walk, visit www.heart.org/berkspawalk or call 215-527-1712.

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