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Electric Cooperatives to raise heart disease awareness through bike ride

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 11:10 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 12:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina is raising awareness for heart disease through a seven-day bike ride across the state that kicked off Monday.

The Electric Cooperative Ride Across South Carolina is a 648-mile ride with 20 cyclists making their way through the state to build awareness for heart disease while offering heart screenings to more than 2,000 electric cooperative employees, a news release states.

MUSC and Clemson University’s Rural Health Initiative is bringing Healthy Me, a statewide program to provide heart screenings and education to the employees.

“We are grateful for the incredible support we have received for the Electric Cooperative Ride Across South Carolina,” South Carolina Power Team CEO and event organizer James Chavez said.

The ride was created in the memory of Pee Dee Electric former president Brian Kelly, who died from undetected heart disease, ECSC spokesperson Jesica Mackey said. Kelly was a CrossFit athlete and an avid golfer and died from a heart attack in 2017, she said.

The ride is also dedicated to all cooperative employees who have been impacted by heart disease or stroke and aims to build awareness for heart disease and provide preventative education for cooperative employees.

The ride ends Nov. 2 in the Lowcountry. Organizers released the following schedule, which states the ride will continue through Friday, skip the weekend and continue Monday and Tuesday of next week:

  • Day 1 - Monday (94 miles): Blue Ridge (Gaffney), Laurens/New Horizon (Laurens), Little River (Abbeville)
  • Day 2 - Tuesday (101 miles): Broad River (Gaffney), York (York), Lynches River (Pageland)
  • Day 3 - Wednesday (71 miles): Fairfield (Blythewood), Newberry (Newberry), Mid-Carolina (Lexington)
  • Day 4 - Thursday (84 miles): Berkeley (Moncks Corner), Santee (Kingstree), Sumter
  • Day 5 - Friday (85 miles): Black River (Sumter), Horry (Conway)
  • Day 6 - Nov. 1 (116 miles): Central (Columbia), Tri-County (St. Mathews), Coastal (Walterboro)
  • Day 7 - Nov. 2 (97 miles): Edisto (Bamberg), Palmetto (Ridgeland)

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S with more than 800,000 people dying a year, according to the American Heart Association.

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