southtownstar
ALOOF 
Weather Updates

To Your Health: Walk to fight our No. 1 killer

Lily Kohl

Lily Kohl

storyidforme: 54362161
tmspicid: 20011833
fileheaderid: 9191419

Updated: October 5, 2013 6:08AM



Join the fight against heart disease and stroke at the American Heart Association’s Metro Chicago Heart Walk on Oct. 5 at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.

The walk will include 1- and 3-mile routes and a free, family-friendly health festival with food, games, giveaways, health screenings and other activities.

The Heart Walk includes teams of heart disease and stroke survivors, employees from local companies and people interested in fighting heart disease and stroke, America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers.

The Palos Hills Heart Walk is one of four events that will take place across the area. Additional walks will take place Sept. 27 in Grant Park, Sept. 28 in Downers Grove and Sept. 29 in Palatine.

This year’s Metro Chicago Heart Walks are expected to attract more than 25,000 walkers across the four locations, with the goal of raising $3 million for the American Heart Association’s medical research, education and awareness programs in Chicago and across the country.

Walk to save lives

Two days after her 20-week ultrasound, Renee Kohl and her husband, Brennan, received news no parent ever wants to hear. The doctor called with a devastating diagnosis: their baby, Lily, was showing signs of a serious congenital heart defect.

Lily was born a few months later, and her first few days in the world were spent underneath tubes and machines. She was diagnosed with a single ventricle heart.

Her next four months of life were spent at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, where she underwent three surgeries to help fix her heart. Lily had a successful open heart surgery again this year, and her doctors are pleased with her progress and optimistic for her future.

One generation earlier, Lily’s condition likely would have been fatal. Children born with a single ventricle did not survive more than a few days because the surgeries performed to save children like Lily did not exist. But years of medical research and advancing surgical techniques have given hope to children born with this condition.

The American Heart Association has funded more than $3.4 billion in cardiovascular disease and stroke research since 1949.

The Heart Association’s research programs have contributed to many groundbreaking scientific advances, including the first artificial heart valve, techniques and standards for CPR, implantable pacemakers, treatment for infant respiratory distress syndrome and drug-coated stents.

To learn more about helping the American Heart Association continue its lifesaving mission, visit www.MetroChicagoHeartWalk.org.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.