Her grandfather was not so lucky, he died of a stroke a number of years ago, she added.
That was just before I started participating in the Heart Walk, that was in 1999.
Although she did not know Bill at the time, he too was a walk participant.
Now they are married and both are Heart Walk volunteers.
They also belong to the Champlain Telephone Company/Primelink Heart Walk team.
This is also the second year that Roxannes 10-year-old daughter, Courtney Lamberton, will be a walk participant.
This year is the first time shes collection sponsorship money, Roxanne added.
In less than a week young Courtney has collected $60 of the $100 goal she made for herself - enough to earn her own Heart Walk tee-shirt.
Roxanne said their team of about 18 has even more reason to support the cause. Fellow employee Rick Welch also suffered a heart attack last year.
He had no symptoms at all, Roxanne said, he had an EKG done during a routine physical and it was discovered that a very high percentage of his arteries were blocked.
They told him he was like a walking time bomb.
Welch ended up having quadruple bypass surgery.
So, to the Downs the importance of supporting the AHAs Heart Walk is more than clear - it can mean the difference between life and death.
The American Heart Association not only does valuable research, they are also getting the word out about the warning signs - and when having a heart attack or stroke, she explained.
Live Auction and Ride for the Cure
A Heart Walk benefit auction is currently being organized by Roxanne and her sister -in-law, Jan Downs.
The auction is being held Saturday, August 4 at 2:15p.m., hosted by American Legion Post 1619 in West Plattsburgh and Sons of the American Legion Auxiliary and the American Legion Riders. Tom sears will serve as auctioneer.