Published: Dec 10, 2011 3:58 PM EST

The American Heart Association, invites you to celebrate your heart health and join Subway spokesman Jared Fogle and local

residents touched by heart disease and stroke at the annual Lee County Heart Walk on Saturday, Dec.

The annual event, which raises funds to fight heart disease and stroke, begins at 8 a.m; the walk

begins at 9 a.m., rain or shine. The non-competitive, 5K-walk includes teams of employees from local

companies, along with friends and family members of all ages. (A shorter, one-mile course is also an

option.) There is no registration fee to participate in the Lee County Heart Walk, although donations are

As part of the event, the American Heart Association will recognize those who have been

touched by heart disease and those who have made a special effort to change their quality of their life

Courtney Williams and daughter, Kinsley. A vigilant mother, Courtney noticed something
amiss with her newborn daughter Kinsley. A doctor’s exam revealed her 3-day old daughter had
suffered a stroke. Now 8 months old, Kinsley attends regular physical and occupational therapy,
and is successfully meeting her developmental milestones. “But if we hadn’t found out early
on, she might not be with us today,” Courtney notes – a reminder that in all strokes, time loss is

Mike Jackson, Lifestyle Change Award recipient. Jackson began a weight lost regime on May
6, 2011, and has since 62 pounds. At the start of his program, his BMI was 33 (obese); today it
is 24 (healthy). His weight loss success has also allowed him to stop taking medication for blood
pressure, triglyceride, cholesterol and asthma management. And, as his wife Sally happily adds,
he’s even stopped snoring.

The Lee County Heart Walk is designed to be fun and family-friendly, with a “Kids Zone” area

sponsored by Phoenix Law that is complete with face painting, a bounce house and other fun activities

for youngsters. As part of the event, The Ringling Brothers Circus will bring their clowns to perform

and interact with walkers. Every child 12 and under who finishes the Heart Walk will receive a free

voucher for the circus’ opening night performance in January 2012. Additionally, dogs are welcome to

participate in the Heart Walk and there will be tasty treats and water stations especially for four-legged

Entertainment will be provided by radio station Clear Channel and national event sponsor

Subway will be on hand to serve heart-healthy sandwiches to attendees after the walk. Walkers are

invited to come early and visit the event’s many local sponsor booths, where there will be information,

giveaways and prizes. “Inspire Change” Platform Sponsor Lee Memorial Health System which will be

offering special health information to walkers as part of the event. The walk will also serve to celebrate

survivors of heart disease and stroke. This year’s event will also include “Simple Cooking with Heart,”

a heart-healthy cooking demonstration funded nationally by Walmart. Chef William Murray of The

Veranda Restaurant in Fort Myers will lead the Lee County Heart Walk’s “Simple Cooking with Heart”

The Lee County Heart Walk is part of the American Heart Association/American Stroke

Association’s new My Heart. My Life. movement. My Heart. My Life. promotes increased health

education, advocacy for better public policy in important health areas such as anti-smoking laws, and

helping communities find ways to eat healthier and stay physically active. Changing how we eat and

how we react to the simple choices that affect our health can stop heart disease and stroke – two of

the deadliest diseases in America. Simple changes made through My Heart. My Life. will help the

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association reach its 2020 Impact Goal: To improve the

cardiovascular health of all Americans while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by

The annual success of the Lee County Heart Walk is due in a major part to the support of the

Heart Walk’s committed local sponsors, including “Inspire Change” Platform Sponsor Lee Memorial

Health System; “See The Good In You” Sponsor Regions Bank; “Faces of Heart Sponsor” Internal

Medicine Associates; “Kids Zone” Sponsor Phoenix Law; and other numerous area sponsors. Media

sponsors include the News-Press Media Group, WINK News, Azteca America, Comcast, Florida

Weekly and Clear Channel Radio. The Heart Walk is nationally sponsored by Subway Restaurants.

For information on participating in the Lee County Heart Walk, contact Leslie Amick, Lee

County Heart Walk Director at (239) 495-4910 or visit