Walking for the Heart: Erie Heart Walk - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Walking for the Heart: Erie Heart Walk

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"When he was born he was given less than a 15% chance of survival, and he exceeded all the odds," said Tiffani Wasiela. 

Tiffani's son, Roman Pfister was the Erie Heart Walk Heart Hero. 

Roman, now nine years old, was born with a rare congenital heart defect. One of only four American's with it, and one of only two alive. Already, he has undergone three open heart surgeries.

Roman said he was inspired to be this year's Heart Hero.

"It's really tiring walking but all the other stuff, I just have a lot of fun with," said Roman Pfister.

Roman was among the many survivors at the Heart Walk. 

Bill Zlatos was among the stroke survivors, he suffered one five years ago at work.

"I use to call myself Stroke Boy, as kind of a joke with my family and friends. But now I say I'm a stroke survivor," said Zlatos.

To commemorate the five years since his stroke, he and his son-in-law, David Edgerton, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro last month. 

"Bill approached me because it had been a dream of his to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for 20 years, and so he approached me, asked if I wanted to go, of course I said sure I want to go," explained Edgerton.

Partnering with David's job at Erie Insurance, they raised over $5,100 for the Heart Walk and the American Heart Association, the largest team fundraiser. 

This walk has raised over $135,000  for the American Heart Association, this money used to give children like Roman a fighting chance

"It promotes studies and research and technology advances, and that's the reason my son is here today," said Wasiela.

The walk not only raises funds, but awareness in the community. 

"I tell my patients, and I tell my family, 30 minutes a day, five days a week, will prevent you from having heart disease. Even if you have had heart disease, it will make you live longer after that," said Dr. Jay Patel, Cardiovascular Physician at Saint Vincent Hospital. 

To donate to the Erie Heart Walk: http://www2.heart.org/site/TR/HeartWalk/GRA-GreatRiversAffiliate?fr_id=2377&pg=entry

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