Upstate Heart Walk back in downtown Greenville this weekend

There’s still time to sign up, start a team and fund raise for the American Heart Association
There is still time to sign up and raise money for the American Heart Association
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 1:36 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - After two years of going virtual, the Upstate Heart Walk will be in-person again this Sunday.

The event, hosted by the American Heart Association, kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday April 24. The walk begins at 2 p.m. and participants can sign up for a one mile course or a three mile course.

Registration is free. You can sign up and start a team here.

Money raised for the event helps to fund brain and heart research, train people in CPR, create health equity for all and helps save children who have congenital heart defects.

One Upstate family has felt the impact of the Heart Walk and the American Heart Association firsthand: the Settle family.

“The first two-and-a-half years of [Kinsley’s] life were really difficult,” said mom Jennifer Settle. “She was in and out of the hospital, doctors offices.”

Jennifer said her daughter, Kinsley, was constantly sick and on a heavy regimen of antibiotics. Eventually, doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital diagnosed her: she was born with two congenital heart defects.

Doctors were able to place two stents in Kinsley’s heart. Jennifer said it was life changing.

“She now is like a healthy, thriving, typical 11-year-old girl, full of life,” Jennifer said.

The stents were researched with funding from the American Heart Association.

As a way to give back, the Settle family has taken part in the Upstate Heart Walk for the past seven years. Jennifer said more funding means more research.

That, in turn, creates more options for families facing a diagnosis like Kinsley’s.

“The unknown with your kid, not knowing what the treatment is going to be or what life looks like is really scary,” Jennifer said.

Kinsley will need a couple more operations as she grows to expand her stents.

“Possibly only one. Possibly,” Kinsley said.

“Clearly praying for one,” Jennifer said.

Kinsley now plays softball and likes being the catcher the most. She said she remembers being in the hospital when she was younger, but she doesn’t prefers to focus on today.

“It’s a piece of you and it sticks with you, but I’m going to be like a hippie. Live in the now, man.”

The Upstate Heart Walk is looking to raise $445,000 this year. You can track their progress or make a donation here.

Join FOX Carolina and thousands of other walkers on Sunday, April 24 in beautiful Downtown Greenville as we help spread awareness of heart disease and stroke.