Family, Heart-Health & Community are why one member joins the Buffalo/Niagara American Heart Association as Board Chair

This past year has been one of many changes. After 25 years with ComDoc, a Xerox Company, I retired in January.

Today, I am very proud and excited to start the next chapter of my career as Board Chair of The Buffalo/Niagara American Heart Association (AHA).

My transition and transformation has been profound. For the majority of my life, I was morbidly obese and weighed north of 300 pounds. On September 24, 2013, I was taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. During the previous three-month time period, I experienced tremendous stress. I was going through a divorce, moving out of a home I lived in for 22- years and had been managing a $22 million dollar business.

My diagnosis was rapid tachycardia fibrillation with secondary cardiomyopathy. I had significant Coronary artery disease and a clot in my heart.

Through the grace of God, and the tremendous care I received at Millard Suburban and Gates Vascular, and the research and practices that were American Heart Association based, I was able to make a complete and healthy recovery.

As the Board Chair of the Buffalo/Niagara American Heart Association, my purpose is personal. However, I have the unique opportunity to help others, share my story, and support the AHA mission. Their mission and work is vital to the community because it touches and reaches everyone.

What is the American Heart Association doing in our community? I can tell you first-hand. Seventeen local Fit Friendly companies with over 15,000 employees in Western New York are making wellness their priority; 120 schools participate in Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart; 18,000 students and people have learned Hands-only CPR in Western New York; 15 awards have been given to hospitals in the Buffalo/Niagara Region for achieving the high standards of patient care through Get With The Guidelines®, and money raised at the Heart Walk, for example, is used to fund lifesaving research and local advocacy, education and training programs.

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart diseases and stroke. I know our board, committees, and volunteers will do their part, along with staff, to help reach their 2020 impact goal by contributing to the overall AHA mission of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

For more information about AHA community programs, events, educational information or how to donate, visit

FAMILY is why’ I support the Buffalo/Niagara American Heart Association.

What’s your …..why?

Larry Cohen

Board Chair 2015-2016

Buffalo/Niagara American Heart Association

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JJ Pesany talks about his second chance at life, his heart hero and paying it forward

On July 1, 2013 I suffered a tragic near death experience.  This was the day a Hero saved me and gave me a second chance at life.  If it were not for his quick actions in performing CPR and using an AED I would not be here today telling you my story.

My name is JJ Pesany, I just turned 17 years old, and I am a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Survivor.  I am one of the lucky ones because most people who suffer SCA do not survive (the current statistic is that 9 out of 10 victims of SCA do not survive), which is in large part due to the fact that CPR is not performed quick enough. 

I do not have much memory of what happened to me, but what did happen to me has changed my life forever.  On that unforgettable day, I was moving equipment after our Football Kicking Camp with my Coach and two other athletes, when we suffered a severe electrical shock from an overhead high voltage wire.  I went into Cardiac Arrest.  Thankfully, Detective Keith Kerl was near the athletic fields when he received the 911 call.  He rushed to the scene, recognized the grave situation that I was in, immediately began CPR and asked Officer Robert Cornell to get an AED from his patrol car.  I was urgently transported to Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo where I received the critical care that I needed in my chain of survival.  I reflect back to this day often, and know that had Detective Kerl not been there for me, the outcome would have been much different.

I am now a Junior in High School and am a member of National Honor Society, Student Union, Academy of Finance, Project Lead the Way, Varsity Lacrosse and the Kicker for my Varsity Football team.  All of this would not be possible, if it weren’t for someone who knew CPR.  I will never know how to fully re-pay the man who saved my life, but I learned CPR months after my injury to honor his only request of me.  Mr. Kerl has been a CPR Instructor for many years and he taught me and my football teammates, as well as my family this lifesaving skill.  Learning this skill and having such a personal connection with it inspired me to become a certified CPR Instructor to help teach others.  In my opinion CPR is a necessary skill that every citizen should possess. Many lives would be spared if everyone were trained.  I hope that no one I teach ever has to use this skill, but I feel good knowing that if they are put in that situation to help save someone’s life, they will know what to do.

I am also an Advocate for AHA and CPR in Schools.  Last June I traveled to Albany and met with our Legislators to persuade them to pass the CPR in Schools Bill.  This past year I have continued to meet with Administrators, write letters and speak about the importance of everyone knowing CPR.  Every student should have the opportunity to be trained in CPR before they graduate from High School.  I just recently helped train 500 of my classmates at my High School.  We plan to train all 2000+ students next year and every year after.  If a school as large as Lancaster High School can do this, all schools can accomplish this.  The amount of new potential lifesavers that will be created by doing this will increase the survival rate so that more SCA victims and their loved ones will be as lucky as me and my family.      

 – JJ Pesany

JJ Pesany & Detective Keith Kerl address Lancaster HS at a recent CPR Training

JJ Pesany & Detective Keith Kerl address Lancaster HS at a recent CPR Training


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Small changes can mean big results in your health by Cindy Chan Phillips

We often hear about the BHAG in the corporate world of setting business goals – Big Hairy Awesome Goals. When it comes to our health, however, small changes can mean big results for health. Let’s look at a few simple tips:

Physical activities

American Heart Association and the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercises to improve health. That is only 30 minutes a day. Even 10 minutes of physical activity at a time can add up to healthy benefits.  Aim for a quick walk at lunch time, or before settling in for your favorite evening television show. One of my former clients, a college professor, chose instead to get off the campus bus one stop earlier. My favorite tip is to purchase an extra pair of walking shoes when on sale and keep them by your office desk or in the car trunk.

Reduce empty calories

A latte drinker? A large cup of flavored latte with whole milk gives you close to 300 calories and 11 gram of fat. That is more calories and fat than a simple bowl of lean beef chili, but without the health sustaining nutrients. Try switching your order to a smaller cup of coffee with reduced fat milk for a couple of days each week – at less than 1/3 of the calories and ¼ of the fat. There is nothing wrong with enjoying some ice-cream for dessert. Think about serving ½ cup in a smaller bowl instead of filling up that large bowl.

Sneaky salt

Can’t break your salt habit? The average American takes in more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day- almost 2,000 milligrams more than the American Heart Association recommends for ideal heart health. More than 77 percent of sodium consumption is from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods. An abundance of sodium intake is linked to elevated blood pressure, which can increase your risk for heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease. What can you do?

  • Read the nutrition facts label and compare and find foods lower in sodium –preferably less than 140 milligrams of sodium for low-sodium versions.
  • Look for ‘no-salt’ versions of canned vegetables and beans or if you can’t find them, drain and rinse vegetables and beans to remove some of the sodium.
  • Limit portion sizes of prepackaged and restaurant foods


Eating better

Fruits provide heart-healthy fiber and vitamins. Simply bring fruit to work every day and leave the fruit on your desk as a healthy snack to cure that mid-morning crave (It means stocking up on fruits when grocery-shopping). Leave some fruits out on the kitchen counter for convenience to grab-and-go. Many of us are not hydrating enough. Bring your favorite water bottle to work, and keep drinking from it through the day.

It’s all about setting realistic, incremental and enjoyable goals to achieve health.

JOIN US! Join Cindy Chan Phillips, the NY Beef Council and the American Heart Association of Buffalo/Niagara at Trocaire College Transit Road location, Wednesday, March 18th from 6-8 pm for the Bold Flavor of Heart Health, a beef culinary experience event to celebrate National Nutrition Month, as well as support the Go Red for Women initiative.

Article by Cindy Chan Phillips, MS, MBA, RD,

Director of Nutrition Education, New York Beef Council

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Know the numbers- Know your heart by Shannon Traphagen

795,000, 40, 5, 60 and 73 billion.

Curious what these numbers mean? 795,000 is the number of people in America who suffer from a stroke every year; 40 is the number of seconds a stroke happens in this country; 5 is the rank stroke sits among causes for death in the U.S.; 60 is the percentage of women who suffer from stroke verses men, and 73 billion is the amount of money that Americans will pay out for medical care and bills due to stroke each year.

Now that I have your attention, let me explain why this is so important. With top notch health care and amazing research facilities and stroke facilities, we still have a problem with heart attack and stroke in the U.S. The number of women who will suffer from these diseases is staggering—60 percent higher among women than men. 55,000 more women suffer from stroke vs. men, and this number continues to grow.

The reason for these high statistics is multi-layered, but one of the biggest factors is lack of knowledge about symptoms, what they are and the difference of symptoms between men and women. Men tend to show more symptoms than women, especially with heart attacks. This “silent killer” among women still has telltale signs. Stroke includes dizziness, sudden numbness in legs, trouble understanding (communication) or sudden on-set of poor vision. Heart disease symptoms in women may include uncomfortable pressure, pain in the neck, back, jaw or stomach, shortness of breath or nausea. However, statistics alone do not tell the whole story.

There is a stigma attached to the words “heart attack” and “stroke”—it only happens to men, it only happens to obese individuals, it only happens to smokers. This, however, is wrong. While, yes, smokers and over-weight individuals are more susceptible to stroke or cardiovascular disease, they are not the exception. Lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits, heredity, stress, and heavy drinking also need to be included in this list.

Let me share some other numbers with you—5’4’, 106, 102, 65. 5’4’ is my height, 106 is my weight, and 102/65 is my blood pressure. Now, these are personal numbers and I don’t normally share them with the masses. I’m am in my 30’s and live a very healthy lifestyle. I’m not overweight, I have a fairly petite frame and great blood pressure. So why am I sharing this with you? Because, my family has a history of heart disease and stroke. My maternal grandfather died of heart disease at 64, my grandmother is in a nursing home after having suffered a stroke, and my father had a quadruple bypass at the young age of 60. Thankfully my father is still alive and now doing very well, but knowing your family health history plays a significant role in proactively saving your own life.

As a woman, I pay very close attention to my cholesterol levels every year. I have become educated on the symptoms of heart disease and stroke and I take an active role in my health. Many have told me that it’s completely unnecessary for “someone like me”. That’s exactly why I’m sharing this with you—because it’s “someone like me” who is just as susceptible as someone who may be over-weight, maybe even more so. Why? Because the stigma’s attached to heart disease and stroke have us all thinking that we don’t fall into the “typical category”. What women don’t understand is that, for stroke especially, there is no typical category. Ask some of your closest friends if they know the percentage of stroke per year. I bet you most of them either don’t know or believe it’s higher for men.

Family history is not the only way women can proactively take control of their heart health; environmental factors also may contribute to heart attack and stroke. Leading scientists have found that, among women, stress and anxiety may play a significant role in increased heart disease. We internalize stress and very few find outlets to deal with stress. Medical research across the world has proven time and again that stress directly correlates to heart disease, cancer, digestive problems and many other health issues.

Proactively taking the time to learn about heart disease and stroke, asking questions about family history, having a conversations with a primary physician, finding ways to alleviate stress, quit smoking (if this applies), and eating healthier, are all steps that can be taken now to save the lives of those we love, including ourselves! Our heart works hard for us, it’s time we worked hard for it.

The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association of Buffalo/Niagara is a leading advocate for heart health and women’s health. Join them as they hold their annual “Go Red for Women” Reception, with a new component this year – the Live Streamed “Red Dress” Collection Fashion Show from NY Fashion Week, February 12th at Kleinhans in Buffalo.

We can prevent heart disease and stroke by taking action and getting educated. Visit for more information.

*Shannon Traphagen is Associate Publisher@ Buffalo Healthy Living

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American Heart Association volunteers urge swift passage of lifesaving CPR bill

American Heart Association volunteers are optimistic that the state Senate will pass the CPR In Schools bill today, Thursday, June 12, since it moved out of the Rules committee last night.

“Eight days ago, I was one of nearly 100 American Heart Association volunteers at the CPR Rally at the Capitol,” said Karen Acompora of Northport. “My son Louis lost his life to sudden cardiac arrest when he was 14, and I have been coming to the Capitol for eight years to ask lawmakers to pass this bill. What a tribute it would be to my son to see this bill pass.”We remember the lives lost to sudden cardiac arrest.

Suzy McCarthy of Evans also lost a child to sudden cardiac arrest.

“My daughter Madison will always be 5 years old, the age she was when she died,”
McCarthy said. “I hope that today, we are applauding the Senate for passing a bill that stops sudden cardiac arrest from cutting lives short.”

The bill is in the Assembly Rules Committee.

An updated version of the CPR in Schools bill (A9298/S7096), sponsored by Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, calls o
n the Commissioner of the State Education Department and the Board of Regents to determine if CPR and AED instruction should be included in the curriculum for all students prior to graduation.  Last week advocates from throughout the state – Acompora and McCarthy among them – traveled to Albany to show lawmakers how easy it is to perform CPR.  They pointed out that CPR is easy and affordable; and 17 other states have already passed laws to teach their students this basic life skill. Hands-Only CPR and the basics of how to use an AED can be taught in as little as one class period at minimal or even no-c
ost to school districts.

Nearly 424,000 people suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest each year, and only 10.4% survive. Having CPR performed doubles or triples the chances of survival.

“As a career paramedic, educator and American Heart Association spokesman, it has been a priority for three decades to see all high school students learn CPR,” said Bob Elling of Colonie.   “This will save thousands of lives in our state alone.”

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Dr. Elad Levy and Dr. Vernice Bates Named ‘Hero of the Heart’ Recipients

Dr. Elad Levy and Dr. Vernice E. Bates

Dr. Elad Levy and Dr. Vernice E. Bates

The American Heart Association’s Executive Leadership Committee for the 34th annual Heart Ball is thrilled to announce Dr. Elad Levy and Dr. Vernice Bates as the 2014 recipients of the prestigious Hero of the Heart Award. Chaired by Anthony Baynes and Jim Cornell, this lively event raises critical funds for the education, training, advocacy and research in the areas of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Each year, the Hero of the Heart award is presented to a member of our community who helps to spread the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association, and encourages all of us to lead healthy lives in efforts to reduce cardiovascular diseases and stroke in Western New York. This year, both of our recipients have made significant contributions to brain health in the field of neurology.

Dr. Vernice E. Bates is the president of Dent Neurologic Institute and Director of Dent’s vascular neurology program. With over 25 years of experience in stroke care, Dr. Bates has invested the past decade in the outpatient sector, working collaboratively to reduce the incidence of major strokes. His pioneering approach consists of a dedicated, readily-accessible team that incorporates comprehensive technologies and extensive care coordination to identify and target embolic sources and other risk factors. Through early and aggressive intervention, Dr. Bates has saved many patients from experiencing the devastation of stroke.

Dr. Elad Levy is a fellow of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and a board-certified neurosurgeon. He is one of the youngest in the country to serve as a chairman for the Department of Neurosurgery, a position he holds at UB.  Dr. Levy is also the founder and president of PUCCS (Program for Understanding Childhood Concussion & Stroke), a nonprofit research and education program. Levy’s published research interests include drug coated stents, treatment of acute stroke, and stenting of aneurysms. He has served and currently serves in roles as principal investigator in national and international stroke trials and is the vice chair of the Scientific Planning Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

The American Heart Association is the largest private funder of scientific research related to cardiovascular and stroke in the United States. In Buffalo, the American Heart Association currently funds $1.8 million in scientific research. Funds raised at the 2014 Buffalo Niagara Heart Ball helps fulfill our mission.

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Clarence High School Students Learn a Lifesaving Beat

Students learn the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only™ CPR this week

L-R: Freshman John Schnier, Senior Amanda Karac, Senior Nichole Banaszak, Freshman Joe Loewer

L-R: Freshman John Schnier, Senior Amanda Karac, Senior Nichole Banaszak, Freshman Joe Loewer

The entire student body at Clarence High School is being trained in bystander CPR April 28 – May 1st. Using the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only™ CPR, the Emily Rose Memorial Fund has coordinated the efforts that will result in nearly 1,600 students in the Clarence community ready to respond in a cardiac emergency. Equipment and instructors have been generously donated from a number of organizations including, Clarence Volunteer Fire Company, Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company, Kelkenberg Construction, CPR—The Pulse Center, and Twin City Ambulance.

The American Heart Association is urging passage of a state law that would require all high school students know CPR before graduation. The legislation is sponsored by Senator Grisanti (S7096/A9298). The instruction at Clarence High School will show how easily this life-saving skill can be taught, with no cost to the school.

“Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills are among the most critical lifesaving skills that make our communities safer, year after year.  It’s time to add New York to the growing list of states that has passed this legislation,” said Senator Mark Grisanti. “I’m honored to sponsor the CPR schools legislation in the New York State Senate and I am proud to work in partnership with the American Heart Association advocates to help make this bill become a law.”

The Emily Rose Memorial Fund honors the late Emily Rose Adamczak. Emily tragically passed away in 2009 after suffering sudden cardiac arrest on a town soccer field in Akron. She was 14 years old. Her mother, Annette Adamczak, has since become an American Heart Association CPR instructor and has made it her mission to teach this lifesaving skill.

“Student safety and well-being is a top priority at Clarence,” says Geoffrey Hicks, Superintendent. “Thanks to the guidelines from the American Heart Association, and instruction by Mrs. Adamczak, we are afforded the opportunity to teach every Clarence High School student truly lifesaving skills.”

Hands-Only CPR can be taught in 30 minutes or less, so it fits easily into a school day. CPR can double or triple a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Since 300,000 people suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest every year, the need to know CPR is crucial. According to the American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR performed by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breaths in the first few minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest in an adult.  That’s enough time for first responders to arrive.

“Any skills to better prepare Clarence students for what lies ahead is so important.  Hands-Only CPR training is one of those important opportunities,” said State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. “I applaud the efforts of Annette Adamczak, the American Heart Association and the Clarence Central School District.”

After this week’s training, the physical education teachers will have the skills to maintain and implement the Hands-Only CPR training into the curriculum year after year. Special thanks to the instructors that helped with training this week including Chief Bill Major, Annette Adamczak, Sean Hulsman, Robert Kasper, Gretchen Kasper, Dana Lash, Amy Major, Jim Schlabach, Mike Zaidel, and Mark Zuchlewski.

The American Heart Association has created a web site to help advocate for the CPR in Schools legislation, visit to help.


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Lifestyle Change Challenge – my view

This has been a great experience for me.  I work out every day.  Pay more attention to what I eat, and have improved my overall health.  My 12 week goal was to take better care of my health, learn to put myself first, by working out, improving my eating habits, blood glucose levels and sleeping.

Weekly I work on drinking more water, weight training at the gym, and walking, instead of the stairs.

Dailey, stress is a big part of my life, managing that by finding outlets to focus on has helped through this process.

–Marsha Jackson, PhD

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Thank you to our volunteers!

Every day, our volunteers work to helps us breathe life into healthier communities in Western New York and across the country. Thanks to their commitment, talent and passion as a volunteer, Americans are living healthier and lowering their chances of heart disease and stroke.

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’d like to take a moment say thank you for seeing the bright future ahead for the American Heart Association.

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Local Participants Selected for Lifestyle Change Health Challenge

For the first time in the Buffalo region, the American Heart Association will conduct the Lifestyle Change Challenge, an innovative initiative that will chronicle the journey toward meaningful lifestyle changes that improves heart health for nine local participants. The 12-week Challenge, sponsored by Leading Edge Performance and Independent Nursing Care, is designed to remind us all to make simple lifestyle choices every day that will have a significant impact on our overall cardiovascular health.

The selected participants for the Challenge were introduced at a kick-off event at Body Blocks Fitness of Williamsville this morning. Using the American Heart Association’s My Life Check heart disease assessment tool, the groups’ collective heart score was 6.5/10 which indicates the group has some significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease that needs improvement. Their stories will be chronicled in blogs, at and in local media. Their success will be celebrated at the 20th anniversary of Heart Walk on September 13, 2014.

We were delighted to have so many applicants for the program. The stories of our neighbors really create a broad picture of the health and life challenges we face,” said Marie Achkar, American Heart Association volunteer coach. “I know they will be an inspiration to us all throughout the 12 weeks.”

Each participant will receive an individualized walking plan, a baseline medical evaluation from Independent Nursing Care, pedometers, healthy cooking resources, breakfast with a doctor, bi-weekly coaching sessions, smoking cessation help if needed, and other value-added opportunities. Each participant will be invited to their own Facebook community, have the opportunity to join a walking club, take a food shopping field trip, and write about their progress on the local American Heart Association blog to chronicle their journey.

“We invite the community to access the tools and resources that are available from the American Heart Association to receive the same great heart-health information, expert tips, recipes, and customized activity trackers and plans at,” said Dr. Glenna Bett, American Heart Association advisory board president. “Our goal is to make heart health a priority for Western New Yorkers.”

Heart disease is the leading killer of Western New Yorkers and all Americans. However, research shows that 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable with simple lifestyle choices involving diet, exercise and smoking.

The Lifestyle Change Challenge 12-week program and officially begins April 7th  and runs through June 27th at which point participants will be fundraising and getting their teams together for the 20th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk this fall.

Meet the Lifestyle Change Challenge participants:

Row 1; Mary Sullivan, Kelly Rummings, Angela Strough Row 2; Denise Ellsworth, Catherine Barth, Joseph Cannamela and Joni Libglid Not pictured: Marsha Jackson, PhD, Janine McKenzie

Row 1; Mary Sullivan, Kelly Rummings, Angela Strough Row 2; Denise Ellsworth, Catherine Barth, Joseph Cannamela and Joni Libglid
Not pictured: Marsha Jackson, PhD, Janine McKenzie

Catherine Barth, Clarence:
At 61 years old, our first participant knows she needs to make some changes in her life. Catherine has been diagnosed with aFib which puts her at risk for heart attack and stroke. She also suffers from high blood pressure and is carrying some extra weight that she would like to take off.  She’s so thrilled to be part of the program and is ready to take charge of her health.

Joseph Cannemela, Amherst:
Three years ago, Joseph underwent double bypass surgery, an aortic valve replacement, and received a pacemaker. As a 66 year-old survivor, Joseph knows that if he wants to watch his grandchildren grow, he needs to make some lifestyle changes and take care of his fixed heart.

Denise Ellsworth, Kenmore:
Denise knows the small choices she makes every day will have a big impact on her health – she just needs to make the right ones! Denise suffers from high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease. At 51 years-old, she wants to be a role model for her family and even feel comfortable in shorts again this summer!

Marsha Jackson, PhD, Buffalo:
Marsha is ready to put herself first! Like so many women, she finds herself taking care of everyone around her and pushing her needs aside. As a 55-year old diabetic, she also knows her heart health is critical and is ready to form habits that will last a lifetime.

Joni Libglid, Buffalo:
The ailments that plague Joni have really gotten her spirits down. Suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, excess weight, and inactivity, she’s thrilled to be part of the Lifestyle Change Challenge. She’s looking forward to working with the other participants and is hopeful that together, they will all build confidence and achieve their health goals.

Janine McKenzie, Lancaster:
As a busy mom of three, 37-year old Janine finds her weight fluctuating and making poor eating choices. She wants to get on track once and for all and show her children what healthy looks like.

Kelly Rummings, Getzville:
Kelly is a two-time heart attack survivor, but when she experienced her second heart attack AFTER losing 25 pounds and working out at least three times a week, she became very discouraged. Kelly found it hard to keep her motivation and gained some of the weight back. She has a great support system and wants to set a good example; showing that we can win this fight against cardiovascular disease.

Angela Strough, Lewiston:
Angela is desperate to change her lifestyle. She smokes, has a strong family history, is diabetic and has six stents in place. She does not want to become a statistic and knows she’s on that track unless she makes some changes. At 45-years old, she has a long life ahead of her and is giving 100% to changing her heart health.

Mary Sullivan, Kenmore:
Mary is approaching her 50th birthday this year and plans to run her first 5K at the Heart Walk! She is currently not on medication for her high blood pressure and cholesterol and wants to do her best to avoid it with lifestyle changes and inspire her family.

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