ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – May 4 is Rally Day for the Capital Region’ Heart Walk and Run. Rally Day is an opportunity for registered Heart Walk participants to cheer each other on in the fight against heart disease and stroke. This is done by recruiting more walkers and runners and raising funds in a one-day blitz.

Rally Day will feature three 30-minute sessions with special guests to encourage people throughout the day. Those sessions will happen at 8:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Zoom. Some notable speakers on the Zoom calls will be Dr. John Bennett, president and CEO of CDPHP, four-time stroke survivor Braden Russom of Clifton Park, and 9-year-old Aedan Conway of Delmar who was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Also, Roben Kaminski, MSN, RN at Albany Medical Center will be speaking as well as Jodie Fitz, chef and author.

May is American Stroke Month, and Braden Russom’s story of surviving four strokes by the time he was 40 is a reminder that stroke affects more than just older people. Aedan Conway, Heart Hero, is one of 100 children born each year with a congenital heart defect.

The American Heart Association says heart disease and stroke are two of the top five killers of all Americans. The American Heart Association expanded its research to include COVID and its effects on heart disease and stroke.