TriCounty Heart Walk draws crowd to raise awareness & funds for heart & and stroke research

JoAnn Parker, Regional Director of the American Heart Association, presents Heart Hero Sydney Lundgren with a birthday cupcake. She turned 6-years-old on Tuesday, May 7

Despite the rainy weather, hundreds of local residents came out to participate in the TriCounty Heart Walk on Sunday, May 5 at Harriman State Park to support the programs and research of the American Heart Association.

Several red-caped “SUPER-heroes” were presented with Heart Hero capes on stage, like kindergartner Sydney Lundgren, Heart Hero and Junior Honoree for the TriCounty Heart Walk. She joined past Heart Walk Survivor Honorees to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Heart Walk event nationally. The crowd joined in singing Happy Birthday for her 6th birthday this week as she received a celebratory cupcake.

The enemy she’s battled since before her birth was a complex congenital heart defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome where the heart’s left side — including the aorta, aortic valve, left ventricle and mitral valve — was underdeveloped. Luckily, it was diagnosed prenatally so preparations could be made for her birth. After multiple surgeries and ongoing treatment, Sydney is now a happy 5-year old who is her family’s Heart Hero–a survivor of congenital heart defects.

Kattya Fernandez of New Windsor, on stage at the TriCounty Heart Walk with the NBC TODAY Show’s Donna Farizan. Fernandez appeared Tuesday, May 7 on NBC TODAY Show segment for Mother’s Day

New Windsor resident, Kattya Fernandez, 2017 Survivor Honoree warmed up the crowd with Zumba & walked with her team while being featured on NBC’s TODAY Show Mother’s Day segment Tuesday, May 7.

Nearly $200,000 was raised for programs and research, with more donations coming in!

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