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After seeing firsthand the consequences of risky heart health behaviors, Robert Wright is resolved to live a healthy lifestyle to decrease his risk of heart disease and stroke.
“My mom died from a heart attack at age 53, and my dad died from a heart attack at age 72,” Wright said. His mother-in-law also suffered a triple brain aneurysm at age 62. “She survived, but now requires 24-hour care,” he said.
While family history is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, Wright also fights to make lifestyle choices that will boost his chances of avoiding an outcome similar to his parents. Because heart disease and stroke affect the lives of so many, Wright is devoted to furthering the education, awareness and funding in the name of heart health.
For two years, Wright has been a member of the American Heart Association Board of Directors and a member of the Heart and Stroke Walk Executive Leadership Team. Last year, he was the top fundraiser at the Walk after making a personal donation, which also earned him a membership in Cor Vitae - the American Heart Association’s Philanthropic Giving Society. “All of these associations and affiliations honestly come from the heart - pun fully intended,” Wright said. “It’s a personal endeavor, and I’m proud to be involved.”
Organizing a team – in conjunction with UCCS – for the Walk has been a welcome undertaking. “It’s a small commitment: three hours, once per year,” he said. “Plus, it’s a great way to get together with other individuals and companies to support such a worthy cause.” On top of that he said, “I really enjoy it. I love the camaraderie with other individuals and companies and sharing stories.”
While heart disease and stroke remain the No. 1 killer of Americans, Wright said not all stories end tragically. “There are a lot of stories in which people survive: those are the stories we need to hear.”