On Saturday, October 6th, our friends and family supported us in our first American Heart Association Heart Walk. It was a completely amazing experience and, honestly, I think it was one of the most special days we've had as a family. We were overwhelmed by all of our friends, family, and coworkers that donated money, time, encouragement, and kind words throughout this process. We could never thank you enough for all you have done for us and this important cause that we hold close to our hearts (no pun intended). Max's team raised over $10,000 for the American Heart Association and we couldn't be more proud of that, until we arrived to the event. When we arrived at the walk, our friend, Stephanie, that works for the AHA told us that a generous donor read the newspaper article about Max and wanted to match our total donation, so he wrote a check for $10,000!!! Can you believe that? We hope to meet the generous donor soon so we can thank them. In case you missed the article in the Tennessean newspaper, follow the link below...
We made team t-shirts for the event and about 25 of our friends and family showed up to walk with us. We also had a banner made with our team name on it. The event was a ton of fun and we later found out that there were 13,000 participants at the walk and they have raised 1.7 million dollars for the AHA, so far, and more donations are still coming in. Our original team goal was $3,000 and we thought we would be lucky to meet it. Little did we know we would meet that goal in the first 24 hours! We set our next goal at $7,500 and, through your generous support, we blew past it and raised more than $10,000. We feel so honored to be able to give a total of $20,000 to the AHA! Heart disease touches so many families, and we hope that this money will help researchers fund their projects so that one day heart disease will be eradicated and Max will no longer need his pacemaker. What an awesome thought that is!! We're setting our goal even higher next year and we hope to see you there!!
The attire... I made him his own shirt while our team wore our "Cardio Max and the Pacemakers" shirts
Mom surprised me with this awesome banner for our tent. This way our team had our own spot where we could hang out.
What's a heart healthy walk without a cookie cake?
There was so much fun stuff to do that we could have stayed there all day. The AHA did an amazing job with the whole event!
Some of our team hanging out before the walk.
With our friend, Stephanie. She works for the AHA and helped plan the event.
The walkway was lined with survivor posters leading the way to the walk."Almost life-sized"posters of us were among them.
The survivor photo. They asked all "heart survivors" to take a group photo.
We met Dr. Barnett, a Vanderbilt scientist, that was interviewed in the newspaper article with us. We spent a few minutes talking with him and talking about how great it would be one day if Max no longer needed a pacemaker due to advances in cardiac research.
What a sweet photo of Daddy and Max
Tyler talking with Greg Firek, the Heart Walk chairman for Regions Bank. Regions had a great turnout and is a big supporter of the Heart Walk.
The Alexander Family - Grandma Alexander came in town to support Max and walk with us. We were so excited she made the trip!
Pop and Dede came in town to walk, also.
Max refused to eat his breakfast, so he had a cookie cake instead. The boy likes his sugar.
Max and his girlfriend, Abby
Or perhaps Lilly is his girlfriend. She gave him a big hug and was so sweet.
What a little cutie!!
"Lets get walking already!"
Cardio Max playing with Ms. Abby
Several of Uncle E's buddies showed up to walk including Rusty, Cody, Maggie, and Stef. What a special group of friends!
Uncle E and Cardio Max
Jake and Ruby, Rob's dogs walked with us and Max really liked them.
Now that's more like it...he had to balance out his breakfast of Diet Coke and Cookie Cake with an apple. Good call, Buddy, you are at a heart walk!
Ellen and Morgan; what sweet, sweet girls to come walk with us on this freezing cold morning!
Cardio Max all ready to ride in his cool stroller.
All the kiddos: Walker, Cardio Max, Ellen, Morgan, and Lilly
...and their beautiful moms: Allison, Amy, Anne, and Meg
Here we go...
After the walk Max wanted a little more cookie cake. We met up with Liz, Kyle, Luke, and Jake and they walked with us. Liz is such a wonderful person and friend. She and her family went to the Melanoma Walk earlier that morning and then came and walked with us.
Max finally passed out on the way home after such a busy morning. It only lasted for about 1 minute though and then he was full speed ahead again until 3 pm that afternoon.
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