CHI Health St. Francis hosts annual Heart Stroke Walk

Updated: Jun. 5, 2021 at 5:56 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - CHI Health St. Francis hosted its second annual Heart and Stroke Walk on Saturday to raise awareness and promote healthy living.

The Regional Cancer Center’s Community Outreach Coordinator Jenny Roush demonstrated pumping air into two pig lungs for Local4 News and the black colored one barely inflated.

“Your aveoli sacks and all the tissue in your lungs can’t get inflated because you ruined the cilia and the aveoli sacks, so you’re lungs aren’t working correctly,” Roush said.

That’s because the lung was injected with 50 high-concentrated chemicals out of the 6,000 found in cigarettes, mimicking how smoking one pack a day for 30 years can affect the human lungs.

“Within two hours it changed,” Roush said. “It changed the lung, caused one of the lobes to fall, you know, to lapse and then the other one created a cancer tumor on it.”

Overtime smokers who don’t quit the unhealthy habit could develop all types of diseases.

“It causes heart attacks, smoking causes diabetes, all the autoimmune diseases, I mean smoking affects everything,” Roush said.

Studies show one way for smokers to reverse the effects is with a healthy diet and exercise which is why CHI Health St. Francis hosted the walk at Hall County Park this morning.

“Walking is very healthy, especially for heart patients in particular,” Director of Cardio Pulmonary Services Angela McDermott. “We want to keep them active and moving so their heart muscles stay strong and they live a healthier live style.”

McDermott said exercise is necessary since heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the country.

“We just want people to be aware that probably you have a risk factor and just helping to control those risk factors in providing the education here today and being outside and being active, is always a good thing,” McDermott said.

The Heart and Stroke Walk lasted from 9 - 11 a-m. and there were nearly 200 people who participated.

In order for people to prevent getting diseases from smoking, they need to quit first. Roush said people who often do it themselves unfortunately relapse which is why she teaches a tobacco cessation class at the hospital three times a year.

For more information on how to sign up for the next one call the Regional Cancer Center at (308) 398-5450.

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