Monday, March 31, 2003
Senator addresses walk participants
Stroke survivor, 9, finishes 5K race
By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Sen. George Voinovich emphasized the importance of heart disease and stroke awareness Sunday afternoon as he kicked off the 5K and 10K Heart Walks in the 26th annual Humana Heart Mini-Marathon.
A portion of the thousands of runners during the Humana Heart Mini Marathon 15K run along Columbia Parkway.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
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Voinovich and his wife, Janet, were grand marshals of the race. The senator spoke to hundreds of families and groups gathered to march in memory of loved ones.
Voinovich, too, was walking for family members. His sister-in-law, Pat Voinovich, is a heart attack survivor. His brother, Paul, died July 9, 2002 after suffering a stroke.
Standing with 20 children wearing red hats - signifying their survival of heart disease and strokes - Voinovich invited thousands to join in the walk.
"Come with us as we walk for our lives, and the lives of our children," Voinovich said.
SHOW OF STRENGTH: Nick Kerwin entered the 5K Heartrun for the first time this year and finished in 32:29. Kerwin, 9, was one of the youngest runners. He also is a stroke survivor.
Kerwin's mother, Julie, said he had a stroke at birth. Doctors were able to diagnose the stroke because of seizures he had until he was 5 days old.
Nick, a third grader at All Saints School in Kenwood, trained for the 5K with his dad, Philip.
"I was excited because it was my first time running," Nick said.
CLOSE TO HOME: Owensville resident Debbie Egred ran her first 5K in honor of her dad, Russ Hinman, who had a heart transplant two years ago.
Egred finished in 36:24, decked out in a homemade T-shirt with Hinman's name inked on the front, back and sleeves.
"This was for him," Egred said.
WHEELS: Marc Vanrafelgham won the wheelchair race in 1:02.06.
MORE WHEELS: Race director John Lonneman said the Heart Mini-Marathon is the "only race in America" to have a particular type of lead car: a 1932 Hot Rod.
VOLUNTEERS: About 300 volunteers were on hand for Sunday's events, doing everything from coordinating times to handing out drinks to passing out medals to every finisher.
REMEMBERING: Many Heart Walkers wore pins and shirts with pictures of loved ones, and carried signs throughout the 5K and 10K races. The Voinoviches and 60 others pinned pictures of Jameson Hutzel to their backs.
Hutzel was born Sept. 7, 2001, and died Friday of a heart defect.
SPECIAL GUESTS: WKRC-TV news anchor Cammy Dierking and meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer were honorary chairs of the Mini-Marathon. Dierking tried to help participants forget the cold temperatures and get excited about the races.
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