“It turned out that he had a very severe stroke at 27 years old,” said Hood, who is a project leader for Deangelis Diamond Construction Healthcare Group in Naples. “And really nothing in his life would lend to him being unhealthy.”
Sadly, Hood’s friend never fully recovered and now resides in an assisted living facility. After witnessing his friend’s struggles, Hood became increasingly committed to raising awareness for the signs of stroke. For several years, a team from Deangelis Diamond has participated in the annual Collier County Heart Walk and the company has been an event sponsor. The company is currently working to earn Fit-Friendly Company status through the American Heart Association.
This year, Hood is serving as a co-chair for the Collier County Heart Walk, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Cambier Park in Naples. The Collier County Heart Walk raises funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 4 killers of all Americans. The event begins at 8 a.m; the walk begins at 9 a.m., rain or shine. A non-competitive, 5K-walk includes teams of employees from local companies, along with friends and family members of all ages. A shorter, one-mile course is also an option. More than 4,000 Collier County-area residents are expected to participate in the annual event.
The Collier County Heart Walk is designed to be fun and family friendly. Additionally, dogs are welcome to participate in the Heart Walk and there will be tasty treats and water stations especially for four-legged walkers. A pet costume contest will be held after the walk.
Entertainment will be provided by Clear Channel Radio and national event sponsor Subway will be on hand to serve heart-healthy sandwiches to attendees after the walk. Walkers are invited to come early and visit the event’s many local sponsor booths, where there will be information, giveaways and prizes.
The Collier County Heart Walk is part of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s new My Heart. My Life.movement. My Heart. My Life. promotes increased health education, advocacy for better public policy in important health areas such as anti-smoking laws, and helping communities find ways to eat healthier and stay physically active. Changing how Americans eat and react to the simple choices that affect their health can stop heart disease and stroke – two of the deadliest diseases in America.
Additionally, simple changes made through My Heart. My Life. will help the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association reach its 2020 Impact Goal: To improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020.
The annual success of the Collier County Heart Walk is due in a major part to the support of the Heart Walk’s committed local sponsors, including Platform Sponsors Physicians Regional Healthcare System and Arthrex; Signature Sponsors NCH Healthcare System and An Anonymous Donor in Memory of Kyle Fernstrom; and other numerous area sponsors. Media sponsors include the Naples Daily News, WINK News, Azteca America, CenturyLink, Life in Naples magazine and Clear Channel Radio. The Heart Walk is nationally sponsored by Subway Restaurants and Jenny Craig.
There is no registration fee to participate in the Collier County Heart Walk, although donations are encouraged. For information on participating in the Collier County Heart Walk, contact Teresa Carroll, Collier County Walk Director at 239.495.4915 or visit www. collierheartwalk.org.