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Survivors, Supporters Hit the Pavement For Annual Heart Walk

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and Saturday morning, hundreds of people bundled up and took over Nelson Park to raise awareness about that startling figure in Abilene's Annual Heart Walk.  
Shoes were laced up, the hats and scarves came out, and feet hit the pavement.

The Annual Heart Walk in Abilene's Nelson Park Saturday morning saw around 500 participants, young and old.

For some, it's a way to grab fresh air, while feeling good about supporting a good cause.

For others, it's a celebration of life -- a celebration of making it one more day.

"There's no giving up, there was no giving up for me, so that's what this means to me," said Michael Brown, a heart transplant survivor.

"I could barely move, I could barely walk five feet without getting winded," Brown remembered.

He was diagnosed with heart problems when he was just 21 years old.
Twenty-one years, dozens of Heart Walks and a new heart later, his attitude is an inspiration for everyone.

"For me, I guess it shows my will to survive and my will to go on and hope that I can inspire other people who are going through the same type of thing I'm going through," he explained.

Then there's Brady Bradshaw.

The resilient five-year-old has already undergone three heart surgeries in his short life. And with his parents and doctors confident the last one will be his last, things are finally looking up for the little guy.

"With the condition that he has, they're expecting it to be the last [surgery] that they did because of the procedure they used," said Brady's mother, Kelly Bradshaw. "So it should be something he just grows into, and into a health, happy little boy."

For survivors like Brown and Bradshaw, it was a day to reunite, remember and rejoice.

The Heart Walk has already raised more than $72,000 and counting.

Organizers said the goal is to reach $100,000, funds that will go to the American Heart Association for research and awareness.
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