WEST ORANGE, NJ - The American Heart Association recently hosted the Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk, an event that has been instrumental in innovative breakthroughs over the last 25 years. 

Nearly 3,000 supporters and survivors walked together, some in remembrance of loved ones, continuing the fight against heart disease and stroke.  Each walker and each donation have helped to transform health statistics into lives saved.  This year’s Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk raised more than $360,000  to support research.

“Why I walk at the Greater Northern New Jersey Heart Walk is easy. I want others to experience life the way I have been given the opportunity to do so," said Kate Edmondson, a 21-year-old heart survivor from Westfield and volunteer for the American Heart Association.  “Being the No.1 killer of all Americans, you most likely know someone who has suffered from heart disease that would encourage you to walk. A mother, a brother, a grandparent, it affects so many of us. If not, let me be the one. Research funded by donations raised at past heart walks saved my life. You can help and be part of saving lives.”

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The day kicked off as emcee Bryan Civitarese and Alan Lieber, 2018 Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk chair and president of Overlook Medical Center, welcomed the crowd before making their way to the start line. The day was filled with heart-healthy activities such as a fitness challenge for kids, an inflatable brain educating all on stroke and even a “bark park” to be sure our furry friends stayed hydrated too!

Local heart and stroke survivors were the real superheroes of the day, being recognized in red capes as they made us all remember why walking is so important!

Each day, about 2,150 Americans die from heart disease- the No. 1 killer in the United States. Stroke, the No. 5 killer and a leading cause of severe disability, claims the lives of nearly 219,000 each year.

The 2018 Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk is locally sponsored by Atlantic Health System, Bayer, ADP, Novartis, RWJ Barnabas Health, The Allergan Foundation, BARD, NJM Insurance Group, AIG, Cognizant and media sponsors, TAPinto, WDHA, and NJ Biz.

For more information, visit www.greaternnjheartwalk.org.