BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of south Mississippians spent the day walking to fight against the nation's number one killer.
The Tulane School of Continuing Studies MS Coast Campus hosted annual Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association.
Edgewater Mall in Biloxi was packed with walkers who had more than just buying the latest fashion items on their minds. They were here to promote the importance of building healthier hearts.
"Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, and it is the number one killer in Mississippi. Basically, four gulf coast citizens die every day of heart disease. It costs our state well over $100 million to meet the needs of people who have heart disease," said professor and organizer, Mark Maneval.
That's why Tulane School of Continuing Studies hosted the 3rd annual heart walk to get people moving and motivated to get fit. More than $2,500 was also raised to benefit the American Heart Association.
"They do research on how to prevent stroke, they do research on how we tell people, how do we get the word out there about stroke, how do we get the word out there about heart disease. Over the years, you have seen a big change in the approach. People know what to look for when someone has had a stroke, they know what to look for when someone has had a heart attack, and years ago no one had any idea," Associate Dean Karen Lucas said.
Student walker Damien Montgomery couldn't agree more. He said his father died after suffering a heart attack last year and now he's an advocate for the heart association, and its mission to save lives by encouraging a healthier lifestyle.
"Yes, try to be aware myself and try to stop eating fatty foods and workout a little more and take better care of myself and tell my family about it."
Tulane's Health and Wellness students chaired the event. Each walker received a signature shirt and lunch, along with a goody bag including water and snacks.