TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Hundreds of people gathered at Washburn University Saturday for the 2016 Topeka Heart Walk put on by the American Heart Association.
The event was designed to generate enough awareness to help reduce disability and death from heart disease.
Three-year-old Allie is one of those who has survived it. Allie spent 30 days in a hospital after she was born, undergoing procedures for a congenital heart defect. She has open heart surgery last month.
“We mend their hearts. They are not totally fixed ever. She will live with this for the rest of her life.”
But Ralph Miller is there for Allie every step of the way. The event pairs runners and buddies together, to dedicate miles and create awareness for their buddy’s condition, in this case, Ralph is running for Allie.
“In September of last year I was actually matched with Allie, so for the past 13 months I’ve been running for her, dedicating all of my runs for her. All of my miles and Michelle posted the Topeka Heart Walk on Facebook and I said I would come and meet Allie for the first time.”
Ralph says he came all the way from Texas for the event and it was worth the trip.
Over the past five years, the American Heart Association has invested more than $2.2 million in 20 studies in Kansas alone.