On Sept. 17, more than 200 LIU Post students and 15 staff members participated in the Heart Walk at Jones Beach to raise money for the American Heart Association.
For Thomas Liantonio ’19 and Gina Cammarata ’18, the walk was personal. Liantonio, a member of the Pioneers’ lacrosse team, suffers from myocarditis, a disease that occurs when a virus settles in the heart muscle, causing inflammation. Myocarditis can potentially be dangerous if not treated. In addition, the LIU Cheer Team and Resident Assistants walked in honor of John Cammarata, father of student and cheerleader Gina Cammarata ’18, who passed away unexpectedly last week from a heart-related issue.
Team LIU had the largest contingent of any of the 196 registered teams and raised $6,178, the sixth most of any organization. Participating student groups included: Men’s Lacrosse, Wrestling, Softball, Equestrian, and all fraternities and sororities. The LIU Post Cheer Team brought additional spirit to the event – cheering on participants as they walked the boardwalk.
“The heart walk was a great experience and meant a lot for me to be there with LIU,” Liantonio said. “Seeing the LIU Post community come together to support a great cause was really awesome to see. Participating in this event with my team was great since they gave me a lot of support when I was dealing with my myocarditis.”
The goal of the American Heart Association is to reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020, while improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent in the same timeline.
According to their website, “In 1999, the American Heart Association set a bold 10-year goal: To reduce coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent by 2010. We achieved the reduction in deaths ahead of schedule and made substantial progress against three of the six risk factors. Our 2020 Impact Goal focuses on helping people build stronger health and a better quality of life.”
Events like the Heart Walk in Jones Beach are the American Heart Association’s signature fundraising and awareness events for cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Funds raised support research, education, and advocacy of cardiovascular disease and stroke.