POSTED: Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 11:51am
UPDATED: Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 12:21pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — It's the number one killer in our country. It's heart disease, and today thousands of people did their part to fight it. It's all part of the American Heart Association's Annual Heart Walk.
Ten-thousand, that's the number of people who died last year from heart disease and stroke in Louisiana, but 25,000, that's how many people in our area who are walking to fight it.
Letha Pfister knows first-hand how important it is to keep her heart healthy.
"We're out here today to promote heart health," Letha said. "I'm a heart survivor. I had a heart attack in 1996. I was 33 years old. So, it's important for a lot of people to understand at any age group that a lot of people are affected, and they don't even know about it. "
Over the past 18 years, Letha has kept a healthier diet and exercise because doctors agree, those are two major parts to keep a healthy heart.
"Exercising 30 minutes a day is a wonderful thing. It can't always been done, but if you can do it at least three times a week, that helps tremendously, and a lot of people don't realize that," Letha said.
For Letha's exercise of choice...
"I walk. I walk," Letha said.
Just like the thousands of people here at the Capital Area Heart Walk. Some are here as survivors, some as supporters, and some to remember lost loved ones.
"I'm here to walk for Ashlyn, and just to like remember her and everybody else," said Katie LeBlanc.
The goal of this walk is to bring more awareness and save lives.
"So the only way we can cure heart disease is to educate individuals about heart disease. So today is about fun, but education and raising funds for research," said Terrie Sterling, Capital Area Heart Walk Chairperson.
"It's a great thing. It's a great thing to see that many people involved," Letha said.
"I feel really good to know that people just care," Katie said.
The Capital Area Heart Walk is one of the biggest walks in the nation. This year, the American Heart Association wants to raise more than $1,000,000 so it can continue it's efforts in research and awareness.