The annual Lehigh Valley Heart Walk took place Sunday afternoon in Forks Township, Northampton County. The event, put on by the local American Heart Association, helps fight back against the leading cause of death in the world.
A record number of people came out to Raub's Farm Market to show their support for those battling heart disease and the organization that assists them.
"It's important just to be here to show a sense of community here in the Lehigh Valley and the mission that we have here and the impact we're making," says Abby Silfies, executive director of the American Heart Association of the Lehigh Valley.
More than 1,100 folks walked through a corn maze in the shape of the AHA's logo. WFMZ even had a team at the Lehigh Valley Heart Walk to support our own Melanie Falcon. If you don't know, Melanie was born with and continues to fight against her own heart issues.
"It's a cause very near and dear to my heart, literally, so I'm always happy to support the American Heart Association and all of the other survivors in our community," says Falcon.
Jude Solderich, 4, and his family from Allentown led the way. His parents Joseph and Natalie found out Jude had a severe case of congenital heart disease when Natalie was 20 weeks pregnant. Jude had heart surgery shortly after he was born and overcame numerous obstacles to be where he is today.
"Everyday is a gift with him just looking at him and seeing him grow and letting us to be able to share his story with people is part of our journey," says Natalie Solderich.
A journey unfortunately far too many share. Heart disease is the leading cause of the death in the world. Silfies says Jude's story puts everything in perspective.
"It makes everyone realize that there's such a level of importance because Jude could be my child or my family and it's so important for us to fight back for everybody just like him," Silfies says.