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Heart condition survivors share their stories

"I spent most of summer in Boston Children's Hospital and after many procedures and several operations, I'm finally doing better," Goheens told the crowd.

Goheens, gripping a paper with his speech, told the audience it was the power of prayer, wonderful doctors and the support of people who support the American Heart Association that was the reason he is alive today.

"I am living proof that research works," said Goheens.

Scott Bombard, chairman of this year's Heart Walk, agreed, noting the important mission of the event in raising money for research like the kind responsible for saving the lives of people like Christopher.

"Every day, the American Heart Association is saving lives from heart disease and stroke through research and education that you help to fund," he told the audience. "In New York State alone, we fund almost $30 million in lifesaving research ... The more walkers, the more you raise for research and also the more walkers you have, the more people you have trying to live a fit and health lifestyle."

Preliminary totals show this year's Heart Walk has $130,000 toward its $165,000 goal, with pledges still coming in, said AHA senior regional director, communications Katherine McCarthy.

"That's hats off to the community. It's been tough years for the community, but to have this happen is excellent," she said.

Donations are still accepted for another month, so people can still go to www.plattsburghstartheartwalk.org to donate.

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