LEWISTON — The 18th annual Central Maine Heart Walk will take place in Lewiston-Auburn on Sunday, Sept. 18, to benefit the American Heart Association.

The Heart Walk draws more than 1,000 walkers who together raised $120,000 last year. This year’s goal is $130,500.

Co-chairing the event are Dr. Andrew Eisenhauer, medical director of the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, and his wife Tiffany Charleson, a physician assistant with Central Maine Medical Center.

“Last year, we had more than 1,000 walkers from the community and 63 companies represented at the Heart Walk. This year, we hope to increase participation even more. It’s about fundraising, awareness raising, and enjoying healthy activity in our wonderful region,” said Eisenhauer.

“The Heart Association raises money that helps to fund education programs for the community and health professionals,” said Charleson. “A large portion of this comes from the money raised by teams and walkers at the Heart Walk. It also raises money to fund important research which has led to advances such as CPR, artificial heart valves, medicated stents, implantable pacemakers, and medications to reduce disability from stroke.”

Walkers will embark on either a 1-mile or 5K walk along the L/A Trails Riverwalk. The event also includes a 5K Fun Run. Music, water and snacks will be at the start and end of the walk. CMMC will provide free blood pressure screenings. Children can try jump roping, face-painting and other activities in the Kids Zone.

“The Heart Association’s slogan is ‘Life is Why’,” said Charleson. “They ask us to question our reason for caring about heart and vascular disease. My ‘why’ is my mom. She suffered a heart attack three years ago. Because of the education of her local first responders and EMTs she received excellent care, now has five stents, a defibrillator and has recovered. She is busy getting people to sponsor her and is ready and excited to walk with our CMHVI team on Sept. 18.”

FMI, register: 207-289-2397, www.centralmaineheartwalk.org, [email protected]

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