Chris Ashbaugh has a purpose for every step she takes.
“He, ugh, passed away so now I walk in memory of both of them and I also get to walk as a survivor.”
She’s been taking part in the McLean County Heart Walk since 1999.
At the time she walked in memory of her mom, who died at age 52 the day after a triple bypass.
Her dad also experienced heart attacks and strokes.
He passed three years ago.
Chris learned she was dealing with the hereditary condition in 2008.
“I started feeling kind of nauseous, felt like I needed to go to prompt care or something. I didn’t think it was super serious.”
She was told she was having a heart attack and was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.
“They were able to suck out the clot that was causing that heart attack, but I had other blockages that were about 90-95 percent.”
She had a quadruple bypass the next day.
“I actually rejoice in the small heart attack because it allowed them to find the larger issue.”
Heart disease and stroke are problems Chris said everyone needs to be aware of and know the symptoms.
“There’s certain things where it’s like often we just brush it off as not being anything serious instead of being willing to go and get it checked out.”
She said her second chance at life hasn’t been perfect, but she’s working to improve.
“A walk doesn’t have to mean 4 or 5 miles. You walk where you can and what you can.”
Chris said she’ll continue to take steps and make her health a top priority.
As a survivor, she asked for you to do the same.
The McLean County Heart Walk is Sunday, September 27th at 2 p.m.
This years event is virtual, meaning you walk where you are.
For more information on the event and signs of a heart attack or stroke, click here.