Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Heart of the Community Walk to Honor Terry Simmons

Media release: Lace up your walking shoes, and plan on participating in the 4th annual Heart of the Community Walk. The walk will be held Saturday, February 25th and kicks off at 10 a.m. with pre-walk festivities beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Citizen's First Bank in downtown Rome, GA. 

The walk, previously benefiting the American Heart Association, is now for the fourth year raising proceeds for the Heart of the Community Foundation.  Proceeds raised in 2012 walk will be used to purchase signage and mile markers for Rome's Jackson Hill Recreational Trail and go towards the creation of an additional trail to link downtown Rome with Summerville Park, Redmond Regional and Berry College

Redmond Regional Medical Center is the premier sponsor for the event and event sponsorships are available. Additional information on sponsorships and the event can be found on under news and events. Harbin Clinic and General Electric are participating as Silver Sponsors.

This year's walk honors heart disease survivor Terry Simmons.  Simmons is a local State Farm Insurance Agent a two time survivor of heart complications.  The first occurrence was a "silent" heart attack in 1997 that gave Simmons no warning signs or symptoms. He went to visit his family physician for a check-up and was sent immediately to the Redmond Emergency room. After Simmons was treated and received a heart stent, he learned his heart had "rerouted" his blood flow, which was why he didn't realize he was having complications.  His physician credited this to Simmons' dedicated work-out routines and physical fitness.

Simmons' second bout with heart troubles surfaced in 2005.  After a regular check up, his physician ordered an exploratory cath to ensure Terry's heart was still at 100%.  Again, despite no symptoms and Simmons' active workout routine, the cath revealed four blockages in his heart.  He underwent bypass surgery at Redmond and was back to his regular lifestyle a few short weeks later.

Terry Simmons says of his survival, "It pays to stay in shape. See your doctor regularly and eat a nutritious diet. If I was not active and in contact with my physician, I would not have had it so easy.  "

 "The walk is an excellent way to remind people to consider their heart health and to take active steps to a healthier life style," says Heart of the Community Walk Co-Chair P.J. Miller, Executive Administrative Assistant at Redmond. "Participating in the fundraising and the walk is one way Redmond is able to give back to the community, remember those who suffered from heart disease and inspire others to take conscious steps to protect themselves from the disease."

While there is no entry fee to participate in the walk, participants are asked to raise funds prior to the walk to turn in at the event.  Participants are encouraged to get creative with fundraising.  For example, Redmond holds bake sales, Valentine's Day gift sales, lunches and raffles.

In addition to raising money for the community, the walk also raises awareness for heart disease and honors survivors.  Fruit and water will be provided at the event for all participants.  The walk is approximately three miles and shorter routes are available.

The Heart of the Community Foundation works to improve health and promote education in the Rome and Floyd community.  It has provided the community with the construction of the Heart House at Redmond Regional Medical Center, construction of the Serenity Garden at Redmond Regional Medical Center, purchase of fitness equipment for the North Floyd Recreation Center, creation of the Par Course Fitness Center at Ridge Ferry Park and has distributed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the Community.  More information can be found on and on Facebook.

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