Philadelphia, long known for its tirelessly giving spirit, will once again see the American Heart and Stroke Association’s Heart Walk wend its way from Citizens Bank Park through storied, scenic FDR Park and back to the stadium. This autumn excursion through South Philly raises funding for ongoing heart and stroke research, while elevating awareness of heart disease and stroke prevention. According to the Association, 541 teams representing municipal agencies, corporations, service groups, and hospitals, plus notables and civic leaders from all over Pennsylvania take part in the leafy peregrination, which is scheduled for Sunday, November 20, at 8:00 AM this year.

Courtesy AHA

Among the groups participating are the professionals from Moss Rehab Jenkintown, a dedicated outpatient stroke recovery facility, as part of their Moss Rehab YESS We Can! Stroke Support Group. “It’s a great way to increase awareness about stroke recovery, and support the Heart Association,” said occupational therapist Kristin Beltz, the team coach, who works with post-stroke patients at the clinic. Her colleague, Melissa Meyers, also an occupational therapist, added, “We march to support our patients, as well as the community, and we encourage everyone to join us.”

Treating heart disease and stroke is a monumental challenge for contemporary American medicine, claiming a significant toll in human life across the United States. In 2021, the Association reported 2,300 deaths every day from cardiovascular disease, and 405 daily fatalities from stroke, highlighting the urgency of the problem. Recoveries from these major illnesses tend to be long-term in nature, affecting the quality of life for hundreds of thousands each year. The goal of the Heart Walk is to raise $2 million, of which approximately $1.6 million has been achieved, as of November 15.

The Heart Walk is close to I-95, with ample parking available at the stadium parking lots, or you can take the SEPTA Broad Street Line directly to Citizens Bank Park at the NRG Station. So, lace up your finest shoes, and take some giant strides towards awareness and healing this weekend. What better way to build up that Thanksgiving appetite, while doing a world of good for your neighbors? Thanks to all who turn out to march, better health is on the way, one step at a time.