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Hudson Valley Press

April 5th, 2017

Heart Walk Fights Heart Disease and Stroke

Madison Dallies, 8 years old, Heart Walk Honoree, walks with her mother, Susan, and AHA Board Chair, David Ping at the Dutchess Heart Walk at Marist College. Madison was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot—a serious condition of four birth defects at once. She had open heart surgery at 2 days old and 8 months old to correct the defects. They are walking to help fund American Heart Association research.
POUGHKEEPSIE - Marist College was the new venue for this year’s Dutchess Heart Walk, on Saturday, March 25th. The event is the American Heart Association’s (AHA) biggest annual fund raiser. Nearly 1,000 participants walked in honor or memory of a loved one affected by heart disease or stroke. Some walked to help prevent illness because of family history. Walkers collected donations to support the AHA’s mission of building healthier lives free from heart disease and stroke.

Vince Amodeo, Business Banking Regional Manager at M&T Bank for the Hudson Valley, event chair, thanks the large crowd at the Marist McCann Center for walking for their hearts and raising money to help others.

Amodeo said that according to the AHA, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week for heart health. Kids need 60 minutes daily. More than 80% of heart disease is preventable by simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier and walking more.

Eight-year old Madison Dallies & Matthew Burchell, both of Kingston, the 2017 Heart Walk Youth Honorees were honored at the event for sharing their stories of survival from congenital heart defects.

Madison was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, four serious heart defects at once, and has had multiple surgeries-including one immediately after birth - to correct the defects. Matthew was born with an aneurysm on his heart artery and a heart valve defect. He has not needed surgery yet, but his condition is closely watched and he cannot participate in contact or straining sports like weightlifting or wrestling. Today, they are happy children living active lives thanks to advances in treatments and diagnosis in cardiovascular disease.

Resources for parents of children with CHD can be found on the AHA’s Support Network at and
Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like congenital heart defects, heart disease and stroke.

For more information about AHA programs, contact Jaclyn Renner, Event Director, at the American Heart Association at (845) 867-5378 or by email
This was the first of two local events. The Ulster event was set for April 2nd at SUNY New Paltz.

Health Quest is the 2017 “My Heart, My Life” sponsor. M& T Bank will be Tribute Wall sponsor. Rondout Savings bank is the Ulster County CPR in school’s sponsor. Other Local Sponsors for this year’s event are: Adams Fairacre Farms, Laerdal Medical, UnitedHealthcare, Ellenville Regional Hospital, Marshall & Sterling and Premier Medical Group.

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