From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making the 2013 San Joaquin Heart Walk a success!
Thanks to amazing supporters like you, we raised critical funds for our fight against heart disease and stroke! We are still fundraising to reach our goal! Login and send emails to friends and family asking for their support, or make a personal donation today! Don't forget to thank all of those donors that have already given to support your effort.
About the American Heart Association The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the Nation's No.1 and No.4 killers, claim more than 813,804 American lives a year. Thanks to all our walkers, donors and volunteers who have accepted the challenge to help fight heart disease and stroke. We cannot achieve our mission without each one of you!
A Message from Survivor, Joey Bernadicou
I was born with a heart defect called Aortic Stynosis, which basically means that I have a deformed left valve cap that doesnít properly control the flow of blood through my heart. This condition has made it impossible for me to play in any high-contact or highly physical sports which has pretty much kept me on the sidelines my entire childhood but I would still consider myself one of the lucky ones because my condition is manageable. Once I reach a certain age, my valve will be able to be replaced through surgery and my heart will be able to function at a higher capacity, but a lot of people with heart conditions arenít so lucky.
Living with a heart condition is a lifelong commitment and thatís why Iíve dedicated much of my life to helping others by sharing my story and raising funds for the American Heart Association so that others might have a better chance at life.
At the age of three my dad introduced me to two things: the first was our local AHA Heart Walk, and the second the sport of Golf.
Over the last 13 years since participating in that first Heart Walk, I have personally raised more than $60,000 for American Heart Association. I have spoken at elementary schools and at Go Red For Women charity events about how important it is to get involved. I believe that it is important for me to share my story because heart disease hits all ages and has no limits. For me this is about making a difference in the lives of others and myself.
Most recently, Iíve taken on the task of hosting a golf tournament with the hopes of making it an annual event with all funds raised going to the AHA. Golf is my sport and my passion. As I mentioned, my dad introduced me to the sport at an early age and itís one of the few Iím actually allowed to play. I am currently a junior at Saint Maryís High School in Stockton and play on the varsity golf team. I love the challenges of this sport, the thrill of the perfect shot and the friendships I make.
I hope to continue to make long-lasting friendships as I share my story with the people I come across at AHA events, my own golf tournament and in life in general. My hope is that my story will inspire others to get involved and help raise funds for the critical research that is funded by the AHA so that others can benefit like I have and we can one day put an end to heart disease.
Joseph Bernadicou High school junior Youngest of four children Heart disease survivor
For more information please contact one of your Heart Walk staff partners