Survivors, hundreds of others take part in PDX Heart and Stroke walk

Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 3:17 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Red was the color to wear in downtown Portland Saturday morning.

Crowds took to the waterfront for the return of the American Heart Association’s PDX Heart and Stroke Walk.

“Two years it’s been since we’ve all been together,” executive director Nick Brodnicki said. “I’m so excited.”

Among the crowd of healthcare workers, children and even some furry friends, were survivors.

Lilian Stielstra said the stroke she survived 12 years ago changed her approach to her health forever.

“Basically, I call it my stroke of good luck,” she said. “I love running now. I didn’t before. And I eat so much healthier now.”

Survivor David Lund described his new lease on life after surviving a heart attack.

“I became more of a family man,” he said. “Now I have a seven-year-old grandchild. It makes you kind of emotional.”

After remarks from speakers, and a warm-up with the Milwaukie jazzercise, the survivors and hundreds more took to the start line for a three-mile walk. Starting at the Waterfront Park, crossing over the Hawthorne Bridge and Tilikum Crossing, before winding back along the waterfront to finish.

Though it was a rainy walk, Stielstra said she is grateful to have the community back together for a good cause.

“There is life after the pandemic,” she said. “Let’s all keep being happy, cheerful and walk. If you survived a heart incident, you know it’s important to live everyday fully.”

To donate to the American Heart Association, click here.