Heart Walk is a step in the right direction for one Lexington woman

This weekend thousands will come together to draw awareness to the number one killer in Kentucky, heart disease.

This year the 16th annual Heart Walk has extra special meaning for one Lexington woman, whose life has been touched not once but twice by heart issues.

Lacing up and walking is something Rhoda Eldot doesn't take for granted.

"In 1980 I had a first surgery, I was 11," said Rhoda Eldot, a heart survivor.

Rhoda was born with aortic stenosis, she didn't have enough openings in her heart.

When she was 28 she was chose to have a surgery that would insert a donor valve in her heart.

"It was time to make me feel better, so I could exercise, finish college and work and lead a productive life."

More than a decade later at 42, Rhoda is happy and healthy and this weekend she will hit the pavement with thousands of others for the annual Heart Association Heart Walk.

Sadly though she will do it with a heavy heart.

"My sister Shari was a senior at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, she got sick, got a virus and waited to long to go and seek help."

The diagnosis, cardiomyopathy, her sister Shari would need a heart transplant, but would die on the waiting list in 1986.

Saturday will mark 26 years to the day of Shari's passing.

"For me it's a remembrance, it helps me feel closer to Shari and knowing that walking and getting support for heart research and other procedures is going to help somebody else."

Now when Rhoda walks she feels her sister with her, a guardian angel to watch over her every move.

Rhoda hopes by walking this weekend her steps will be in the right direction to help save lives.

The Heart Walk is Saturday April 21st at Commonwealth Stadium.

Activities start at 9 am, and the walk is at 10.

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