Mercer Kicks Off Heart Walk 2008 Campaign


Heart Association Ambassador William Magill, left, spoke on campus Aug. 20 about overcoming a stroke he suffered at age 33. Pictured with him, from left, are Amy Iseneker, President Patricia Donohue and Barbara Kunkel.

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in this year's American Heart Association (AHA) local "Start! Heart Walk." The one- and three-mile walks will take place Sunday, Sept. 14, at Mercer County Park.

This is the fourth consecutive year that MCCC is rallying the staff and faculty to walk and donate funds to combat cardiovascular disease and stoke, the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers. Over the past four years, Mercer has raised $26,000. The goal this year is to raise $6,000, and break the $30,000 mark. Leading the effort are Amy Iseneker, program coordinator for Horticulture and Plant Science, and Barbara Kunkel, associate professor of Nursing, who conducted a workshop during preclass week which featured 2008 Survivor Ambassador William Magill, who suffered a stroke nine and half years ago at age 33.

Magill said he had exhibited various symptoms for three months, which eluded doctors, prior to his massive stroke. "This is something that can happen to anyone at any age," he said. Magill now volunteers at St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa. where he distributes information and speaks of his plight. "Everyone should be aware and take precautions. Eighty percent of strokes can be avoided."

According to Iseneker, 78 cents of every dollar donated to this cause is earmarked for education and research. Her interest in prevention was sparked by her father, who suffered a major heart attack at age 53. "I wanted to become educated on this and pass the word on," said Iseneker, who has played an instrumental role in spearheading campus involvement.

Kunkel agrees that spreading the word is of utmost importance. "In addition to knowing one's risk factors, making healthy lifestyle choices is critical," she said. "We need to learn more about our bodies and how they adjust to the choices we make."

For more information on AHA's Start! Heart Walk, contact Amy Iseneker at ext. 3372, Barbara Kunkel at ext. 3335 or Debbie Kell at ext. 3312.


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