Guest blog: Start! Heart Walk 2010
By Christine Corneille
• Team Corneille at the Heart Walk (Christine is 3rd from the left, in the brown cap)
• Kevin with his girls a month before he died
Eight years ago, at the age of twenty-nine, I suffered a minor stroke. Thankfully I recovered very quickly, but when my husband's company, Accenture, formed a team for the Start! Puget Sound Heart Walk supporting the American Heart Association (AHA) he was eager for our family to join. The Heart Walk was a blast, with all kinds of entertainment, educational booths, and (our kids' favorites) free samples of various healthy treats. Survivors of heart disease and stroke wore red baseball caps, and I remember being amazed at how many of them there were, from young boys and girls to elderly men and women.
Three years later, in August of 2005, my wonderful husband Kevin collapsed and died instantly while on a business trip in Chicago. Apparently he had cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart. Although he was only 34, played basketball and softball regularly, and was teased for his careful monitoring of his diet, he became one of the 1.3 million Americans who die of cardiovascular disease each year. Kevin's death was particularly shocking because he had never complained of any symptoms, and had actually gone hiking with our three-year-old on his back just weeks before his death. It was an incredibly difficult time for all of us who knew and loved him.
In 2008 I formed a new community team for the Heart Walk. It was my hope to honor Kevin's memory by raising money for the AHA. For the past few years family and friends from four states have travelled to Seattle to walk in our "Team Corneille" t-shirts, sharing stories of Kevin and catching up with one another. Although we all miss him, it feels great to be part of the fight against heart disease, knowing that our efforts are helping to prevent another family from suffering a similar loss.
Please consider joining us in the fight against cardiovascular disease this year at the Start! Heart Walk on October 2.
Support the Start! Heart Walk
Sign up for Seattle – Seattle Center, 3-mile and one-mile survivor route
Sign up for Tacoma – 8th and Pacific Ave, 2-miles and 4-mile routes
Give by cell – Text the word START to 41010 to make a $10 donation to the American Heart Association. (Effective until Nov. 12; message and data rates may apply.)