Lowcountry Heart Walk

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease has touched many lives.

It is a harsh reality all too familiar for Pura Caseja.

"My father passed away in 1983, my mom in 1999, and my sister in 2004. I was already grown up when I lost them, but you know I still need their love and support," said Caseja.

Stricken with grief, Caseja and her other sister, Jellen, put their hearts into raising money for research of the disease that claimed three family members.

Both workers at Trident Medical Center, they became big supporters of the Lowcountry Heart Walk.

"By the walk we're encouraging people to get out and take an active part to make themselves healthy," said Allison Walters, the Assistant Vice President of Cardiovascular Services at Trident Health System.

Caseja's involvement went from the pavement to the kitchen this year when she made and sold nearly 6-thousand eggrolls.

"I rolled as many as I can because I wanted to sell a lot for the American Heart Association," said Caseja.

But Jellen was not there to help.  In February the two sisters championing heart disease research were torn apart by another disease, breast cancer.

"It's kind of terrible because you know losing a loved one is really going to give you a heartbreak," said Caseja.

Caseja has decided to move forward even though her sister is gone.

She helped raise nearly $4 thousand dollars this year for the American Heart Association.

Registration for the 2009 Lowcountry Heart Walk begins at 8 am this Saturday, September 26, at Liberty Square.