Heart & Stroke Walk

PARKERSBURG – About 200 people turned out Saturday morning at City Park for the 2017 Mid-Ohio Valley Heart and Stroke Walk to benefit the American Heart Association.

Joe Campbell, market president for WesBanco, was serving as chairman of this year’s Heart Walk. He said the goal was to raise $40,000 through Saturday’s event for the heart association.

“The purpose of this event is two-fold. Obviously it’s a fundraiser for the heart association but it’s also an awareness event to make people aware of heart disease and what you can do,” he said.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and stroke is number five,” he said.

Monica Davis, of Parkersburg, was this year’s honoree at the walk and participated in the event. In 2015, Davis was a teacher at Franklin Elementary Center when she suffered sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed at the school. School staffers used CPR and an AED on her until first responders arrived at the scene, actions which have been credited with saving her life.

Davis said Saturday was her first time participating in the Heart and Stroke Walk. She was asked in February to participate in the event and “I knew that I was going to help if I could,” she said.

She started a team together, found sponsors and raised money. In addition to being the honoree, Davis was also recognized Saturday morning as the top individual fundraiser with $1,840 collected.

“The community is just so, so supportive, it’s so awesome. It’s overwhelming and humbling,” Davis said.

She hopes to continue her involvement in the walk in the future.

“I’ve met people who have shared stories that are so personal and so touching,” she said.

As a result of her own experiences, Davis said she has been working to bring AEDs into more places in the community.

“We have them in the schools but I think there are other places we need them,” she said.

Erica Campbell, of Belpre, was attending Saturday’s event as a member of the WesBanco team. It was her first year participating in the walk.

“I think it’s wonderful, I love to see the camaraderie and the teams,” she said.

Campbell said issues like heart disease and strokes touch everyone to one degree or another. Her 92-year-old grandmother has worn three difference pacemakers over the past 50 years.

“I’ve always been heart-conscious because of that and worried about family history,” she said.