Sam was born with an interrupted aortic arch, which was discovered a day after he was born. He underwent his first open heart surgery at 1-week-old and another at 4-months-old.
On Sunday, Sept. 22, Sam Vlasics will represent all local heart disease and stroke survivors as the Child Chair for the 2013 Lehigh Valley Heart and Stroke Walk, sponsored locally by Easton Hospital. The annual walk to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke prevention and raise funds for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem.
Although Sam may need another surgery when he is 5-years-old, he is living a normal, healthy childhood and takes only two medications regularly. Sam’s mother, Dana, credits his recovery to the support of family and friends and lifesaving technology and medical procedures available to Sam because of research made possible through funding from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
“Sam’s journey from being born with a heart defect to surviving multiple heart surgeries to thriving today has inspired my entire family to raise awareness about heart defects,” said Dana Vlasics. “We wanted to join the Lehigh Valley Heart and Stroke Walk to bring attention to Sam’s story and the experience of so many other survivors like him who have benefited from the research funded by the American Heart Association and Heart Walk teams like ours.
Sam Vlasics and his family will participate in the 2013 Lehigh Valley Heart and Stroke Walk, along with thousands of other family, community and workplace teams, to increase heart disease and stroke awareness and raise money to support lifesaving heart disease and stroke research. The fundraising goal for the 2013 Lehigh Valley Heart and Stroke Walk is $340,000. Walkers who raise a minimum of $100 will receive a Heart and Stroke Walk t-shirt and the opportunity to receive additional prizes based on their fundraising levels.
The Heart and Stroke Walk is a family and pet-friendly event featuring vendors, health information, team photos, kids’ activities and more. Companies, schools, community groups, survivor families and individuals are welcome to participate. For more information about the event or to register, visit www.heart.org/lehighberkswalk.
About Heart Walk
Each day, nearly 2,300 Americans die from a cardiovascular disease, an average of one death every 38 seconds. A leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke is lack of physical activity. Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s signature fundraising event, promoting physical activity and heart healthy living in a fun family environment. By promoting a healthy culture, everyone can walk towards a healthier lifestyle and fight the greatest health threat to the United States.
About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, we are the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases — America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers — we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. For more information about the American Heart Association, visit www.heart.org.