This September, 533 people put their feet to the ground to raise awareness about peripheral arterial disease (PAD) as part of the SVS Foundation’s Vascular Health Step Challenge. The challenge raises funds and awareness, with participants pledging to walk 60 miles throughout the month, a symbolic journey that mirrors the 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.
The annual initiative emphasizes the importance of vascular health and promotes healthy vascular habits. Funds raised during the challenge will support the future of vascular surgery and fulfill the Foundation’s mission.
New this year was the “Pay it Forward” initiative, allowing registrants to cover the $60 sign-up fee for low-income patients, ensuring their participation in the challenge.
The challenge saw a 77% increase in sponsorship compared to 2022. Sponsors include AOTI, Gore, Medtronic, 3M, the Way to My Heart organization, and the Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN).
Participants in the Step Challenge have more than just the goal of a healthier vascular system to strive for; prizes await. Those who achieve the 60-mile target will receive a backpack, and those who raise $600 or more will receive a Stanley drink cup. Team members that meet the $6,000 team goal will be able to sport a Step Challenge cap, and the top individual walker and fundraiser each will receive an outdoor blanket.
By Sept. 19, the campaign had already met its walker goal, at that point with 525 registered participants. In 2022, 457 walkers collectively raised over $80,000. Halfway through this year’s challenge, donations raised were at $60,000, and firmly on track to reach its target.