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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is Putting One Foot in Front of the Other to Save Lives

Sep. 26, 2013

BCBSIL is Committed Heart and "Sole" to the Metro Chicago Heart Walk

Chicago, IL — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is proud to be stepping up and stepping out as a major local sponsor of this year's Metro Chicago Heart Walk, which aims to raise $3,000,000 in donations to fund valuable research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Heart Association (AHA).

The AHA is committed to reducing the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of men, women and children every 38 seconds. It defies stereotypes of who are "sick people." It reaches into all our cities, our neighborhoods and all-too-often even our homes.

For years, BCBSIL employees have actively been leading teams of walkers who all raise money for the cause, many of them inspired by loved ones. To name a few: YaYa Perez, who walks for her 12 year old nephew with heart disease; Monica Silva, who walks for her grandmother; and Margie Toigo, who walks in memory of both her grandmother and uncle, who died of heart disease.

This year, while teams of employees continue their own fundraising, BCBSIL as a company is going bigger. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has stepped up as one of the major sponsors of this event and BCBSIL Chief Medical Officer, Opella Ernest, M.D., is serving as the Corporate Challenge Chair.

"We at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois are committed to improving the health and lives of the people of Illinois," said Dr. Ernest. "We are proud to partner with the American Heart Association to find ways to help heart and stroke patients manage their disease, while actively working to keep those of us who are heart-healthy stay that way."

Since 1949, the American Heart Association has funded more than $3.4 BILLION in cardiovascular disease and stroke research. That funding has led to medical and surgical advances that are increasing the survival rate for heart patients, such as two-year-old Lily Kohl, who was born with one ventricle in her heart instead of two. Read more about Lily's fight for survival .

Lily's family heads up Team Lily. They will be taking part in the Downers Grove Heart Walk, one of the four locations that make up the Metro Chicago Heart Walk:

  • The Downtown Walk is in Grant Park on Friday, September 27th, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • The West/DuPage Heart Walk is in Downers Grove on Saturday, September 28th, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • The North/Northwest Heart Walk is at Harper College in Palatine on Sunday, September 29th, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • The South Cook Heart Walk is October 5th at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Each site offers 1-mile and 3-mile routes which are handicapped accessible. It costs nothing to be involved. There is no registration fee and you can walk for free and learn about heart health and receive medical screenings at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois tent.

BCBSIL is actively involved in the Metro Chicago Heart Walk, but similar events are held across the country. Learn where you can join the fight .


View 2013 News Releases