The American Heart Association and Union Bank are hosting a group walk beginning at the bank s Fifth and University Branch in Downtown Seattle at noon on April 3. KING 5 s Rich Marriott will emcee the rally shortly before the walk. For more information about group walks in Seattle and Tacoma, visit

I want to share with you why the American Heart Association and the work they do is so important to me, my family and Union Bank.

I lost my dad to a massive heart attack. He had cardiovascular disease that went undetected.
Even though that was more than two years ago, it still seems like yesterday. The loss is still painful today. But within my sadness came new strength and an awareness of how precious life is and how heart health should be a number one passion for everyone.

Losing my dad showed me that you never know when a heart condition can strike someone you love. When I lost my dad, I felt helpless and didn t know where to turn. The AHA was there for me. I knew that through my loss I wanted to help educate others about heart disease, and to play my small part in the battle against heart disease.

I tell this story because the AHA has designated Wednesday, April 3 as National Walking Day. The idea is simple: get up and get walking. Walking is the simplest and single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health, and walking for as little as 30 minutes a day has been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

I ask you to think about a family member, friend or colleague who was touched by heart disease.
As the local sponsor for National Walking Day, we are committed to raising awareness of the importance and health benefits of physical activity through walking.I hope you can join me and Union Bank in supporting this great cause.

I know that I will never take a simple walk like we all plan to do April 3 for granted ever again.
So, in honor of my dad, thank you for joining us in this national campaign.

Maryetta Williams

Maryetta Williams is a Region Manager in the Pacific Northwest for Union Bank, and a supporter of the American Heart Association.

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