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PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding hungry families, on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: The newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we'll return first thing Friday.)


2020Talks - November 25, 2020 


CORRECTED 2:30pm MST 11/25 - Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be the second Black woman in US UN Ambassador role, Susan Rice was the first. Biden nominees speak; how can social media spread less misinformation and be less polarizing. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Virtual D.C. Heart Walk Focuses on Funding for COVID-19 Research

The 2019 Greater Washington Heart walk was held in D.C., but this year's effort will be held virtually to maintain social distancing during the pandemic. (American Heart Association)
The 2019 Greater Washington Heart walk was held in D.C., but this year's effort will be held virtually to maintain social distancing during the pandemic. (American Heart Association)
October 19, 2020

The Greater Washington Heart Walk event is hosted by the American Heart Association. An earlier version incorrectly stated that is was sponsored by the group. (4:42 p.m. Oct. 19, 2020)

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A Washington, D.C., executive's son was diagnosed with an abnormally fast heartbeat when he was just 8 years old. That experience inspired the father to help others who struggle with heart problems like his son.

Tim Gillis is a managing partner with KPMG. He said since having surgery, his son, who is now 23, is thriving without a pacemaker. Every year since the procedure, Gillis has called on the local community to raise money and awareness through an annual Heart Walk in the Washington area so others can avoid what his son went through.

"My son had heart surgery followed by my dad having heart surgery followed by my mom having heart surgery. So when you put those three together over the years, this was the one that I did want to tackle, because it's the largest fundraiser," Gillis said.

The walk is hosted by the American Heart Associations and brings together companies, organizations and individuals from across the region. It will be held virtually this year to maintain social distancing during the pandemic. The fundraiser begins November 6. More information is available on the Greater Washington Region Heart Walk Facebook page and at heart.org.

Gillis said this year's walk is more important than ever because they will be raising money for research on how COVID-19 impacts folks with heart disease. He said such studies are critical right now as some research shows significant links between the virus and heart problems.

"As of September, nearly 25% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have been diagnosed with cardiovascular complications. And cardiovascular complications were shown to contribute to roughly 40% of COVID-19-related deaths," he said. "So those are powerful, powerful stats."

Cedric Sims is chairman of the Walk's Executive Challenge, which has a goal of raising about $750,000 for the walk. He said heart disease remains the top cause of death in the United States, and hits communities of color particularly hard.

About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's 1 in every 4 deaths.

Diane Bernard, Public News Service - VA