Walking is instrumental to keeping the 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body healthy—especially for patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). That is why throughout the month of September, also known as PAD Awareness Month, the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Public and Professional Outreach (PPO) Subcommittee and the SVS Foundation brought life to a new campaign—the Vascular Health Step Challenge.
Throughout the campaign, SVS members, patients and members of the general public were challenged to walk 60 miles while working toward a collective fundraising goal of $60,000. The funds raised throughout the campaign will support the SVS Foundation in amplifying the importance of vascular health while promoting healthy vascular health habits in communities across the country.
Over 400 walkers rose to the occasion, logging over 35,000 miles throughout September. A total of 880 individuals donated to the campaign, and together they raised more than $80,000.
Individuals were welcome to create or join teams, or to participate individually. Many participants joined teams with their professional colleagues, families and peers; and some institutions hosted a walking event.
“Walking is such an integral part of a healthy life for each of us, patient and healthcare professional alike,” says Benjamin Pearce, MD, who chairs the SVS PPO Subcommittee. “I think it is incredible the range of disease processes impacted positively by walking—heart disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm and venous reflux to name several. But even more amazing is that walking can be a therapeutic agent for our patients with PAD and may be the only intervention they need to improve their life.
“Each of the participants—donors and walkers—in the first annual Vascular Health Challenge has rallied behind our patients to get the word out about walking and PAD and provide much needed assistance to our patients. We can’t wait to walk and raise even more next year!”
The SVS Foundation plans to host the Vascular Health Step Challenge again next September and encourages all SVS members to get involved. For more information, contact [email protected].
The SVS and the SVS Foundation extended “the sincerest message of thanks” to the campaign’s presenting sponsor, Advanced Oxygen Therapy Inc., Globetrotter level sponsor Abbott and Explorer level sponsor Peripheral Vascular Associates.