The Star-Herald

Presque Isle stroke survivor to speak at AHA cycling event

BANGOR, Maine — CycleNation is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s (AHA/ASA) new, relay-style stationary cycling event aimed at putting the brakes on stroke and heart disease. The AHA/ASA will bring this event to the Bangor Waterfront for the first time on Sunday, June 10, with “CycleNation Bangor.’

The day will begin at 8 am at the Festival Plaza where participants and their friends and family can enjoy heart-healthy snacks, learn Hands-Only CPR, and receive resources for those affected by heart disease and stroke. WABI TV 5 Anchor Brian Sullivan will kick off the cycling event at 9 am with a special guest speaker, Sarah Porter.

Porter, a two-time stroke survivor and former National Go Red For Women spokeswoman, grew up in Presque Isle.

“Stroke can happen at any age, even if you are young, healthy and active like I was,” said Porter. “I remember feeling embarrassed and that I was somehow defective. I want to inspire young people and let them know they are not alone.”

Participants form teams of five riders. Each rider enjoys a 25-minute, high-energy stationary cycling class led by a local instructor before switching off to another team member. Cycling will take place between 9 am and 1 pm. The Festival Plaza will remain open until 2 pm.

“Teams will band together for a high-energy, endorphin-pumping three-hour ride which will help strengthen their hearts and help support our mission—to reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Becky Adams, AHA/ASA Event Director. “We hope to turn the momentum of cycling into a movement for health as we raise funds for heart disease and stroke research in Maine.”

The goal this new event is to use cycling to improve heart and brain health, while raising funds to continue the AHA/ASA’s vital community programs, lifesaving research and advocacy efforts to end heart disease and stroke. Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. To improve overall cardiovascular health, the AHA/ASA suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

Currently, the AHA/ASA in Maine funds more than $1.3 million in grants to Maine institutions including University of Maine in Orono and Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor. Bicycles are being generously provided by Union Street Athletics and Bodies by Badger.

Company and community teams are welcome. All riders must register online at www.cyclenation.org/bangor to start a team or join an existing team, or to support a cyclist.  You may also contact Becky Adams to sign up your team and for more event information at Becky.Adams@Heart.org.

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