Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 12, 2014
In 2012, wife and mother of three, Sammie Lunt, suffered a heart attack at the age of 53. Less than two years later, she courageously climbed to the top of 53 State Street alongside her husband and family to make a difference in the fight against heart disease. Now, they’re taking on Fenway Park to support survivors, like Sammie, and take steps toward a healthier future.
This past January, the Lunt family and friends participated in ClimbAmerica! – a unique stair climbing event hosted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s ClimbCorps, which raises funds and awareness for heart disease. Led by Sammie’s son, Kyle, their team, the “Koala Kongs,” was one of the top fundraisers, raising $2,261 to support life-saving education, programming, and research for heart disease prevention.
“I always knew my parents made a good team,” says Kyle. “But after about 17 flights, they were both tired and ready to give up. Instead, they looked each other in the eye and decided that they’d keep going, one flight at a time, until they couldn’t go any farther. They were the last ones to finish, but they finally made it all the way up together.”
As Kyle puts it, “I think what motivates me to participate is what motivates all of us: to fight back against heart disease, America’s number one killer. Not only to honor those who have died of heart disease, or who continue to fight it each day, like my mother, but also to prevent people from falling victim to heart disease in the first place by making good lifestyle choices. Sure, the climb is fun, but to me it really symbolizes the fact that being consistently physically active in your life is important.” After seeing his mother make drastic changes to improve her health after suffering a heart attack, Kyle says that he’s proud of her and incredibly thankful that she’s still here.
The “Koala Kongs” look forward to their next challenge – scaling the stairs at Fenway Park on June 7. To register, or for more information about ClimbAmerica!, visit www.climbamerica.org.
– Caitlin J.