Heart Walk hits home for Flagler survivor

By Marne Burghoffer | gargoyle@flagler.edu

On Sept. 29, the Flagler College Sports Management Club teamed up with the American Heart Association to raise awareness for heart disease by hosting a three mile long walk on the beach beginning at the St. Augustine Beach Pier.

This event hit very close to home for one Flagler College student by the name of Jamie Mart, who is a survivor of congenital heart disease, a condition she was born with.

When she was just 18 months old, Mart had her first open-heart surgery, which was a success until a year later when complications occurred.

A stroke left Mart with partial paralysis of the left half of her body and had a second open-heart surgery when she was five years old.

Jamie Mart and her family have been involved with the American Heart Association for as long as she could remember, therefore she was eager to participate in the walk sponsored by the organization and her college.

She participated with Flagler College Enactus, one of the many school organizations that came out to the event. Mart feels that it is important for people to understand the benefits of maintaining a healthy heart with good exercise and eating habits.

“I’m a survivor so I know all about it,” said Mart. She also explained that she believed the walk on St. Augustine Beach was a success with over 200 participants.

Calvin Hunter, a teacher of Sports Management, was also happy with the outcome of the heart walk. Hunter’s Facility Event Management class was in charge of the operations and sponsors and were successful in getting an estimated $2000 in donations to support the American Heart Association.

“Being the first event of this kind held, it was a great turnout and we hope to do even better next year,” said Hunter.

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