CEDAR FALLS, Iowa, July 26, 2023 — The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, invites the Cedar Valley community to the 2023 Cedar Valley Heart Walk on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Mudd Advertising/Prairie Lakes Campus in Cedar Falls.

The American Heart Association’s premier event to boost physical and mental health, the Heart Walk allows supporters to celebrate heart and stroke survivors, raise lifesaving funds and encourage physical activity. This year’s theme is “I Walk to Save Lives.”

“Heart disease and stroke impact people in very personal life-changing ways,” said Sydney Rogers, development director for the Cedar Valley Heart Walk. “The Heart Walk encourages participants to express, share and be inspired by the reasons why they walk while supporting an organization that leads the way in the fight against cardiovascular disease.”

Congenital heart defect survivor Kemper Kleiss serves as this year’s ambassador. A 6-year-old from Lawler, Iowa, Kemper was diagnosed with Tricuspid Atresia with a Ventricular Septal Defect and Atrial Septal Defect. Her condition has required two open-heart surgeries. Kemper is active in gymnastics, swimming and dancing. She loves riding her bike, playing outside with her friends and rooting for her favorite team, the Iowa State Cyclones.

“Through this entire experience, Kemper continues to display amazing strength and perseverance,” said Kemper’s mother Emily Kleiss. “She’s received great care from the minute she was born. We look forward to sharing our story at the Heart Walk because we want to help raise awareness and funds so even more lives can be saved.”

To register, visit www.CedarValleyHeartWalk.org. From there, participants can stay up to date by downloading the Heart Walk mobile app and encourage friends and family to join in via e-mail or on social media.

The Cedar Valley Heart Walk is sponsored by MercyOne Northeast Iowa and Cedar Valley Medical Specialists. Other key sponsors include UnityPoint Health – Waterloo, Scheels, People’s Community Health Clinic, Camping World and Terex.

The Cedar Valley Heart Walk is the signature event of the American Heart Association’s Heart Challenge program, which is designed to help companies positively impact employee overall health and wellbeing. The program is anchored in a series of customizable workplace events that inspires employees to be more engaged, reconnect with colleagues and get in their physical activity.

The funds raised from the Cedar Valley Heart Walk go towards research, advocacy, CPR training and to promote better health in support of the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, reducing barriers to health care access and quality. During the past five years, the American Heart Association has funded more than $12.9 million dollars on new research studies in the state of Iowa, including 67 studies at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.



About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

For Media Inquiries:
Bryan Geelan: 515-414-3204; bryan.geelan@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org