Colleen Caleshu

Racing Hearts 5K/10K race to support heart-disease care and research

Colleen Caleshu, lead genetic counselor and clinical assistant professor at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease is the number-one killer of both men and women, causing one in three deaths each year. On March 22, in honor of Heart Month, the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease will host the Racing Hearts 5K/10K walk/run on the beautiful Stanford campus. Funds raised during the event will benefit care and research for heart disease at Stanford.

Join us as a runner, a walker, or a volunteer—or even as a remote runner by walking or running where you live! Participants can have an honor flag, with the name of a loved one with heart disease, hung at the finish line.

One of the largest and most comprehensive cardiovascular genetics centers in the world, the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease provides interdisciplinary, life-long care to families who have a wide range of inherited cardiovascular diseases. We also conduct cutting-edge research on genetic heart disease and the use of genome sequencing in medical care.

Heart conditions are some of the most common genetic diseases, affecting at least one in 250 individuals. People with genetic heart problems can experience heart disease at a much younger age than usual and are often at increased risk of dying suddenly, even though they may feel completely healthy and have no idea that they have heart disease. Fortunately, sudden death can be prevented with appropriate treatment. This makes it incredibly important for families with such heart problems to get thorough evaluations that include genetic counseling, genetic testing, and cardiology evaluations.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of genetic tests available for heart conditions in recent years. A cardiovascular genetics evaluation, including genetic testing, can help determine which family members are at increased risk and need ongoing care and which family members are not at increased risk and can be relieved of worry and the need to have their hearts watched.

Funds raised through the Racing Hearts 5K/10K event will help our center to provide comprehensive care to families with inherited cardiovascular disease. Too often, families have members who are uninsured or underinsured and therefore cannot access the evaluations they need. Money raised will fund critical medical and genetic tests. It will also be used to support research on genetic heart conditions.

We hope to see you on March 22!