Many participate in KC Heart & Stroke Walk for personal reasons - KCTV5

Many participate in KC Heart & Stroke Walk for personal reasons

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Each year the American Heart Association raises hundred of thousands of dollars through its annual heart walk. Of those who attend, many have personal reasons.

Jodi Jackson's life changed forever two years ago.

"I was 42 and completely shocked," she said.

After thinking she was healthy, she had a heart attack.

"It was very scary. My type of heart attack, less than 20 percent of women survive. I was very fortunate," Jackson said.

Now she wants to make sure others don't go through her pain, so she took part in the 2014 Kansas City Heart and Stroke Walk/5K Run Saturday at Theis Park.

"We're out here to educate and to make sure that all of those people that have never had a heart attack or stroke know what they need to do to not have a heart attack and stroke," Jackson said.

More than 10,000 people took part in the Heart and Stroke Walk on Saturday, raising more than $784,000, but those that took part say it's about much more than the money that was raised.

"It's about survivors and their families and all of the emotion that goes along with that," Jackson said.

It was emotion that got Jackson's two daughters to also walk.

"I want all of my friends and all of their friends and all of their families to know that we need to support this," Jackson said.

Now the mom said she's living life to the fullest, but also making sure to eat right and exercise.

"It's made me so thankful, thankful for every day. It teaches you to learn to live each day as it comes instead of living in the past or living in the future," Jackson said.

She's also continuing the fight by volunteering with the American Heart Association.

Saturday's Heart and Stroke Walk was part of the KCTV5 Take 5 to Care initiative.

Take 5 to Care's next event is Jazz in the Woods, held June 20 and 21.

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