'Walk Around the Clock!' kicks off at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center
People walking, running on treadmill in Tualatin hospital's main lobby until noon Thursday.
The clock has started and the treadmill is running.
Until noon Thursday, a heart health awareness event and fundraiser will be going on in the main lobby of Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in east Tualatin. People have signed up to run or walk on the treadmill all through the afternoon, evening, night and morning, raising money for the hospital's cardiac rehabilitation scholarship program.
Floetta Ide, a former cardiac patient at Legacy Meridian Park, kicked off Walk Around the Clock! with a 15-minute set on the treadmill starting at noon Wednesday.
That was fun, she said afterward. When do I go again?
Ide, who is 94, lives in West Linn, just a few miles from the hospital.
My family all had heart disease, she said. Both her parents and her younger brother died of heart problems, she added.
Ide and her husband, who died nine years ago at the hospital, had no children. Ide has become one of Legacy Meridian Park's most significant donors; in fact, the cardiac rehab gym that opened at the hospital in 2013 is named for her and her late husband, Lewis.
I'm very attached to this hospital because of the good that they're doing, she said, adding, I realized we had worked very hard for our money, and I realized that there were places that needed it.
The scholarship program for which Ide and others are raising money Wednesday and Thursday helps patients who may not be able to afford the copayments for cardiac rehab or who don't have health insurance that covers it.
That shouldn't be a reason for someone not to do this kind of thing, because it's going to improve the quality of life, extend their life, said Chris Jones, a cardiac rehab specialist at Legacy Meridian Park.
Jones said some studies have indicated that patients who go through cardiac rehab may live as much as five years longer than those who do not. The average cardiac rehab patient will go through 36 sessions, he said.
Ide went through cardiac rehab after a quadruple bypass surgery at Legacy Meridian Park in 2009, she said. She said she believes firmly in what the hospital does to support its cardiac patients.
This is the first year that Legacy Meridian Park is holding a 24-hour treadmill fundraiser for heart health. Jones said the hospital borrowed the idea from its sister campus, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland, which is holding its fundraiser this year at the same time.
February is American Heart Month. No less a figure than President Barack Obama, who made the customary proclamation of Heart Month this week, has committed to wear red on Friday to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease.