Heart and Stroke Walk raises money for research

September 23, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Participants in the 2012 Mason Dixon Heart and Stroke Walk fill Leitersburg Street in Greencastle, Pa., Sunday during the event.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Kristin Boyd hopes the steps taken Sunday during the 2012 Mason Dixon Heart and Stroke Walk lead to strides in research that could save her 3-year-old son’s life.

“They’re giving him three to five years to live. There currently is no cure, so we’re hoping raising funds will help to find a cure,” Boyd said.

The Boyd family, of Hagerstown, served as the walk’s “Red Cap” family in support of the American Heart Association. Young Collin Boyd has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital defect that caused the left side of his heart not to develop.

A related condition, protein-losing enteropathy, gave Collin’s parents a bleak prognosis.

Sunday’s fundraiser, the 19th of its kind in Greencastle, served to raise money for research and educate about prevention of heart disease.

“It’s something that affects so many of us, and it’s an important thing,” said Al Martin, event chairman.

Martin, whose parents died of heart-related issues, said 18 people volunteer on the committee that pulls the fundraiser together. Additional volunteers pitched in at the event, which was held at the Greencastle-Antrim school campus.

About 600 walkers were expected to participate. They could choose between 1.3-mile and 3.7-mile routes.

“It’s a nice walk for everyone,” said Martin, former finance director for the City of Hagerstown.

Caitlin Rosenberry, 13, participated in the Heart Walk. The Greencastle teenager underwent surgery at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center last year for a problem with the electrical current of her heart.

“It’s for a good cause, and you won’t waste your time,” Caitlin said of the fundraiser.

Caitlin’s mother, Jennifer Rosenberry, and some of her former colleagues walked together.

“I’m here to support Caitlin. It’s an event that helps people, so that’s why I’m here,” said Julie Augustine, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Sisters Danielle Werner and Lyndsey Sites said they walked in part to honor their father, who had bypass surgery.

About $90,000 was raised before the walk, and organizers expected the final total to be about $135,000, according to Martin.

Martin said he was excited about the possible effect on research.

“Things that weren’t possible several years ago are now possible and commonplace,” he said.

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