Thousands show up for rainy central Kentucky heart walk

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - "I'm okay with the rain," says Jessica Glines, a walker. "I'm dancing and everything."

More than 5,000 people showed up at Keeneland on a rainy Saturday morning for the annual central Kentucky Heart Walk. Many of them heart disease and stroke survivors, along with their families.

"I walk because my grandmother had heart disease," says Shay Dunn, another walker. "So it's a cause that's important to me and my family."

It's important to a lot of families. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. A realization that hits close to home for many.

"By me losing my father at such a young age, it help bring great awareness to me and to my heart health," says Mark Stoops, University of Kentucky Football Coach. "So I try to keep track of it as best I can and I need to continue to work on that."

Officials with the American Heart Association say both heart disease and stroke are preventable. This three mile walk is to not only raise awareness about the issue, it's also to raise money that will stay in central Kentucky and go towards cardiovascular research, preventative education and hospital improvements.

"We're educating people today about not smoking, getting plenty of physical activity and getting proper nutrition," says Matt Rountree, Communications Director for the American Heart Association. "Those are all ways that we can drastically reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke."

Reminding the walkers that worse things could happen than a little rain.

The American Heart Association raised more than $100,000 online, before the walk. Their goal is to reach a record of $440,000. They'll find out if they hit that within the coming days.

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