Thousands come out to support the Orlando Heart Walk on Saturday

Thousands of people showed up at the University of Central Florida Saturday morning, walking to end heart disease. 

"I'm a survivor," said participant Kimby Jagnandan, "I had a heart attack seven-and-a-half years ago. So I do everything I can to give back to the American Heart Association by raising money and I love the heart walk every year."

Jagnandan says her heart attack came out of nowhere. 

"I had a heart attack when I was 38 years old, so I was actually quite young when I had it."

She's raised more than $2,200 for the walk that benefits the American Heart Association. Organizers say she's contributing to a record amount, this year. 

"Typically we have 15-20 thousand people. Today we're expecting several thousand," said LaSonia Landry, the American Heart Association Orlando Executive Director. "We just hit a million dollars a couple of days ago for the first time in five years, so we're super-excited. We're hoping to raise about $1,050,000."

Landry says heart disease is America’s leading cause of death, and this money will help save lives. 

"This is incredibly important. Money that is raised today helps fight heart disease and stroke, it helps work with disadvantaged communities to bring our resources to them, and also provide the health care systems and hospitals we work with, with important research and information to help their patients."

The walk was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a non-competitive walk with a 5K course and a 1-mile survivor route. 

For people who couldn't make it out there today, there was also a virtual walk where anyone around the country could participate in this morning's event. 

Walkers like George Velez say it feels great to help.

"I'm just here to support all those who can't be here," he says. "Do what I can, do my part."

For more information, you can visit The FOX 35 Care Force is a proud sponsor of this event.

Your support helps create longer healthier lives. Live smart and take care of your heart.