Central New Jersey Heart Walk 2013

Last night, I registered for Central Jersey 2013-2014 Heart Walk by the American Heart Association. I got involved last year and am so glad I did! I was able to raise $360 last year, so I am aiming a little higher and have set my goal for $400 this year.  

It’s unfortunate that I won’t be in New Jersey in October for the actual walk portion of it [my parents and I have made intention for Hajj, inshallah].

Will you help me help a great cause?

July 16, 2005 started off as any other summer day. Except for the fact that we were busy planning Faraz’s high school graduation party to be held the following week on my birthday and we had family arriving from Canada that evening.

It all changed in an instant.

I remember exactly what I was doing in my room when I found out and most of the details of the crazy day that followed. I remember hearing the confirmation it was an indeed a heart attack that my dad just had. I remember calling my brother Ayaz at work to tell him. I remember the questions and the dreaded what-ifs. I remember the wait while my dad was in surgery. Most of all, I remember the long road he faced in the aftermath to recovery. I remember it all like it was yesterday.

I just can’t recall any warning signs. Maybe they weren’t there to begin with? That’s the scary part. It can happen out of nowhere. It can and it does.

Just last year, for example, a cousin of mine in her twenties who lives in Europe had a cardiac arrest in the middle of the night! Her son was a toddler at that point, and to think if her husband hadn’t woken up when he did and essentially helped saved her life… you don’t even want to think of the possibilities.

In her twenties?! Things like that can happen to someone relatively healthy in their twenties?! It’s just so unfathomable to even think about.

That, in part, is one of the major reasons I took up this great cause. Not just because it effected my family, but because of how dire the situation can become in an instant and its consequences are not so great. But we can change that. Who knows, maybe in our lifetime, we will make great strides in the cause.

But we have to come together for the cause first. Do our part. It cannot, and must not, be left on the back burner of issues. Each one of us, I’m sure, knows of multiple people effected by heart disease. The statistics are unnerving.

It’s not just about donating towards such a wonderful cause, but also committing to making that lifestyle change. For ourselves, our well-being and health, and our family. Heart disease doesn’t just effect the individual, it effects the whole family.

We need to start eating better, and living a healthier lifestyle … and just generally taking better care of ourselves. What’s the point of living if you are not going to live right? Some argue, what’s the point of living if you can’t “live a little”. Well, we all could live a little and live a little longer if we just started taking better care of ourselves.

You know what else I remember? I remember the low sodium, bland boring no taste in any of the food diet that ensued following my dad’s heart attack. I don’t know how he ate it and for so long. Would you rather have to be on such a diet on a regular basis or would you rather eat healthy regularly but indulge once in a while? It’s not only about the food we eat [although it’s a large part], but is any food really worth failing health?

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