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Residents Turn Out for AHA Heart Walk; Don’t Let Rainy Conditions Scare Them Off

Noah Campbell, 16, of Du Quoin, was the featured cancer survivor speaker at Saturday’s American Heart Association Heart Walk on the JALC campus. Campbell suffers from HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), a disease that affects the heart muscle, causing it to enlarge. (Logan Media Services photo by John Homan)

Noah Campbell, 16, of Du Quoin, was the featured cancer survivor speaker at Saturday’s American Heart Association Heart Walk on the JALC campus. Campbell suffers from HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), a disease that affects the heart muscle, causing it to enlarge. (Logan Media Services photo by John Homan)

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – It was far from ideal conditions, but several hundred area residents didn’t let intermittent morning showers prevent them from their support of the American Heart Association Saturday in the form of a two-mile walk around the John A. Logan College campus.

“We had a wonderful turnout today despite the weather,” said Beth Walker, Director of Corporate Events at AHA.

“That just shows the true commitment Southern Illinoisans have in helping the American Heart Association fight heart disease and stroke.”

Walker said JALC is one of the key contributors to the success of the regional fundraiser and not just for hosting the heart walk.

“People have been raising money here for months,” she said. “An event like today is one of the ways we are able to celebrate our achievements.”

Greg Stettler, one of the JALC team captains with the fundraiser, said it would appear that the college has raised over $8,000 for the cause.

Hundreds of area residents battled the elements Saturday morning as part of the annual American Heart Association Southern Illinois Heart Walk hosted by John A. Logan College. (Logan Media Services photo by John Homan)

Hundreds of area residents battled the elements Saturday morning as part of the annual American Heart Association Southern Illinois Heart Walk hosted by John A. Logan College. (Logan Media Services photo by John Homan)

“Maybe even a little higher than that when it’s all said and done,” he said. “I’ve been doing AHA activities here for years and am glad to help out. It should also be noted that Logan is a training center for CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) instructors.”

Noah Campbell, 16, of Du Quoin was the featured cancer survivor at Saturday’s event. The teen told his story to the gathering.

A multi-sport high school athlete, Campbell said he began developing heavy nosebleeds a few months ago and it was later diagnosed that he had a thickening of the left ventricle, a condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM (a disease that affects the heart muscle, causing it to enlarge).

Beth Walker, Corporate Events Director for the American Heart Association and lead organizer of the annual AHA Heart Walk, chats with John A. Logan College Board of Trustees Chair Jake Rendleman just prior to the walk. (Logan Media Services photo by John Homan)

Beth Walker, Corporate Events Director for the American Heart Association and lead organizer of the annual AHA Heart Walk, chats with John A. Logan College Board of Trustees Chair Jake Rendleman just prior to the walk. (Logan Media Services photo by John Homan)

“I guess you could say I’m lucky to be alive today,” he said. “I’m living proof of someone who had always been healthy and athletic, who contracted this disease with basically no warning signs and am living to tell about it.”

Campbell said he is no longer permitted to participate in sports, which require great physical exertion.

“That was tough for me because I have always enjoyed playing football, basketball and baseball. So, now I’m on the golf team. And although I’m not very good at it yet, I’m determined to improve.”