MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Thousands of heart conscious Mid-Southerners took to the streets of Downtown Memphis to raise awareness about heart health.
The 2018 Mid-South Heart Walk and Red Dress Dash took place at AutoZone Park on Saturday.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.
WMC Action News 5 Chief Meteorologist Ron Childers chooses to be part of this event every year because it's something near and dear to his heart.
His father died suddenly from a heart attack at age 60, and his mother is a heart transplant recipient.
"Heart disease has had a major impact on my life and you might not know it, but it's the number one threat to health in the Mid-South," Ron said. "I'm walking to bring attention to the fact that one of the highest rates of cardiac disease in the nation is right here in the Mid-South."
But Ron is not alone in his quest to raise awareness and heart healthy attitudes.
"I'm a survivor, and I'm here to testify that God is good and by the grace of God there are good doctors here to take care of us," six bypass survivor Reginald Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he made major changes to his diet and lifestyle in order to improve his health and extend his life.
"If anyone out there has any pains, they need to go to the Stern Cardiovascular Center, or anywhere. Go to your closest center and get checked because this is very serious," Mitchell said.