Tuesday, July 30 2013 2:06 PM EDT2013-07-30 18:06:55 GMT
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - It's the number one killer of all Americans. One out of every four deaths in the United States is because of heart disease. That's a statistic the American Heart AssociationMore >>
It's the number one killer of all Americans. One out of every four deaths in the United States is because of heart disease.More >>
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- More than 5,000 people gathered in Liberty Square Saturday morning for the 2013 Lowcountry Heart Walk.
Organizers said the event not only helps raise money heart disease research but helps promote living a healthy lifestyle.
"It's about getting people to eat healthier and exercise more because of heart disease is controllable so people need to take control of that, especially here in the Lowcountry," said Jim Newsome with the South Carolina Ports Authority.
Michael Charles Winkle had quadruple bypass heart surgery in April of this year. He said his father died of a heart attack and his sister died young.
Winkle said his surgery helped him learn how important it is to take care of your body, especially your heart.
"I never realized the importance of that beating heart," he said. "It gets broken. It gets sad. But when it does break, it can break for good."
Winkle said he is now taking better care of his heart and body. His goal is to finish the Cooper River Bridge Run next year.
If I knew I was going to live so long, I would've taken better care of myself and that's where it starts from- taking care of your body," he said. "Your body is a temple. What you put in it can either hurt you or help you. It's up to you."
You can still contribute to the fundraiser through November.