Grateful. This one word says it all.

My son, Sammy, was asked to be one of the 2018 Red Cap Ambassadors for America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk. At first, I was overwhelmed by the thought of taking on yet another commitment in our already busy life. However, that thought quickly left when I started thinking about Sammy’s survivor story and the countless others who have been affected by heart disease or stroke right here in our community. This was an opportunity to take an extremely difficult experience and turn it into something positive. It was an opportunity to give back to a community that loved, supported, and prayed for our family during the most trying time of our life.

Our family was honored to share Sammy’s story. To spread awareness of congenital heart defects. To raise funds for research and education. To improve outcomes for heart patients like our son. During this experience our eyes were opened to what an incredibly generous community we live in. We are so grateful to reside in a community that rallies together for a common cause. The enthusiasm of the participants was contagious. We witnessed laughter and tears. We heard stories of survival and memories shared of loved ones that have passed. We met people who are so passionate about the fight against heart disease and stroke that not even a SNOW STORM could keep them away.  The dedication of the American Heart Association, the volunteers, and the participants to put on a successful event was most impressive. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We are grateful.

If you have not participated in America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk, I encourage you to please join us next year. If you have participated, I urge you to continue the fight. Continue to spread awareness. Continue to fundraise for the American Heart Association. Progress has been made but there is still work to be done. There are more survivor stories to be told.

Participants have until April 15th to fundraise towards incentives and prizes. Call the American Heart Association at (315) 580-3964 or visit www.UticaHeartRunWalk.org for details.

Red Cap Ambassadors Roy and Grace Benham, along with their family, also have a special thank you message for participants.