BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of people filed into MGM Park early Saturday morning to show their support for the fight against heart disease.
"With all the negativity in the news today, just seeing everyone here today for a cause, it brings a sense of community back to the coast," walker Jasmine Sistrunk said.
Though the 2015 venue changed from Gulfport to Biloxi, but organizers say the mission is the same — to bring awareness, educate and support community members.
"Cardiovascular disease and stroke are the leading cause of death in South Mississippi. We lose about 1,000 of our family, friends and coworkers in the three coastal counties every year," ASA's Vice President of Development Christin LeBoeuf said.
LeBoeuf says it's hard to find anyone that's not impacted by the disease, so attending events like the heart walk raises even more awareness and helps people find ways to improve their lifestyle.
"Eighty percent of cardiovascular disease is preventable," said LeBoeuf. "It's things we do every day. It's small, simple lifestyle changes that can improve your health."
LeBoeuf added that she believes the event grows every year because people want to know how to make lifestyle changes, and in a fun way.
Through fundraising at Saturday's three mile walk, the organization was able to raise more than $300,000. All of the money will go toward research and preventative measures to fight heart disease.
"We just want to help any way we can to raise the funds and actually 100% stop heart disease and stroke," volunteer and walker Caretta Hall said.
For more information on heart health and ways to make lifestyle changes, click here to visit the American Heart Association website.