July 30, 2014—Local business leader and stroke survivor takes chairmanship of upcoming walk personal

American Heart Association’s Heart & Stroke Walk Brings Prominent Chair to Make a Difference
Local business leader and stroke survivor takes chairmanship of upcoming walk personal

TUCSON – The American Heart Association’s Tucson Division is excited to announce that Andrew Karic, owner of United Builders LLC and A Karic Construction Consulting, will serve as chair of the Tucson Heart and Stroke Walk scheduled for Sunday, May 3rd at Reid Park.
On Dec. 2 at the age of 54, Karic suffered a stroke that changed his outlook on life. A self-proclaimed workaholic, doctors attributed his stroke to stress. The stroke took Karic out of commission for three months. He needed in-home healthcare, a walker and was easily exhausted. Since then he has refocused on family, including his wife and his two brothers. He also better understands the importance of good health and giving back to the community that helped build his businesses.
“My stroke was a life changing event for me and my family and it was a huge wakeup call which made a tremendous impact on my lifestyle,” said Karic. “Chairing this year’s Heart and Stroke walk is an opportunity for my own personal involvement which is just a very small way of giving back support to those very special therapists who helped me learn how to walk again and get full use of my left hand. This was done through home health occupational therapy for two months and then on to St. Joseph’s Hospital for several months and finally to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson. I hope I can help raise money for a very worthy cause and reach my fellow friends and business owners with my message.”
The dollars raised at the Tucson Heart and Stroke Walk will help fund life-saving research and help to raise awareness for the No. 1 and No. 4 killers of women and men.
“We are excited that Andy has accepted the challenge to lead our 2015 Heart and Stroke Walk,” said Dr. Nicholas Clement, Chair of the Board of Directors. “His experience as a local business leader and his passion for the cause, will help elevate our lifesaving message and mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”
Research funded by the American Heart Association has yielded or contributed to many important innovations — such as CPR, life-extending drugs (including clot-busters), pacemakers, bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine and surgical techniques to repair heart defects. These and other advances are making it possible for many to call themselves “survivors.”
As a survivor, Karic has seen the life-saving experiences that come from American Heart Association research first hand. “Thanks to medical advances and the phenomenal occupational and physical therapists along with dedicated neurologists which are funded in part by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association I have been able to persevere one of America’s number one and number four killers and most disabling diseases.”
It’s Karic’s current dedication to fighting this health epidemic he finds so important at this time. “I don’t think many people understand how serious a stroke is compared to other health diseases. Many stroke victims are left significantly disabled, which is huge impact on an entire family and raising funds is one way of helping combat this terrible illness”
The Tucson Heart and Stroke Walk will unite over local participants, including the corporate, medical, social and political communities to show their support for those who have been affected by heart disease and stroke. It also includes a Heart Healthy Festival and activities for the kids. Karic hopes to raise significant funds to meet the event goal of $250,000, which will assist in research and educational programs. “It’s all about bringing the support and donations in. The facts speak for themselves,” he said.
For more information about the Tucson Heart and Stroke Walk call the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, Tucson Division at 520.917.7522 or visit www.tucsonheartwalk.org.

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About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, we’re the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases — America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers — we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.