BY TAYLOR SCHWEITZER
Running, walking, spinning around and laughing are just a few things that someone can do on a treadmill. Doing those activities on a treadmill for 24 hours is another story.
On Feb. 18 at 6 a.m., Kitchener’s 91.5 The Beat breakfast radio host Carlos Benevides, for the fourth straight year, started his 24- hour walk for the Heart and Stroke Foundation at Movati Athletic in Waterloo and ended the event at 6 a.m. the following day. People were invited to drop by the well-being club at any time during the 24-hour time period to make a donation or they could donate by going to the Heart and Stroke website any time before, during or after the event.
“I do this walk for many reasons,” Benevides said. “My dad has a pacemaker which he’s had for eight years, my aunt had triple bypass surgery four years ago, another aunt has had a pacemaker for 14 years, my uncle has heart disease, my brother’s best friend had his first valve replacement when he was just a newborn and just last year my cousin had to start using a defibrillator (an apparatus used to control heart fibrillation by application of an electric current to the chest wall or heart). Doing this walk really hits home to me.”
The event encouraged The Beat listeners and members of Movati Athletic to participate in walking or running on treadmills set up in the main lobby alongside Benevides, who ended up walking 81,000 steps for a total of 65 kilometres.
“I think there’s a lot of confusion about heart disease and heart failures out there,” Benevides said. “It’s important for people to understand and be aware of the different causes and effects.”
Benevides hopes the event helps listeners learn about heart disease and that they need to take better care of themselves by exercising daily while maintaining a healthy diet.
“Carlos is really doing an amazing thing by participating in this event,” said Hilary Harron, senior area manager of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “This is the fourth year that Carlos is doing the run, so we come out here and support him while collecting donations to raise awareness for what we do here in the region.”
Harron was most proud of the fact that Benevides had engaged many of the station’s listeners and has increased their support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The foundation now has people from the region come and ask them what they do, what kinds of equipment they work with to help people who have heart disease, and seek additional information on strokes and heart failures.
“People should give (to this cause) because we are not only creating donors, but we are also creating survivors,” Harron said.
According to the 91.5 The Beat’s website, as of Feb. 22 Benevides had raised $7,300 for the foundation.
For more information about events and to make a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, visit their website heartandstrokefoundation.on.ca and search Kitchener-Waterloo locations.