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2022 Syracuse Heart Walk

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Inspirational Honoree
Chloe Burian


Chloe Burian PhotoOur Chloe is our why…she is a sweet, strong, and full of life 10-year-old. You would never know every day she fights to be normal. She was diagnosed at the age of 4 with Marfan Syndrome. It affects everything connective tissue in her body…joints, bones, blood vessels, eyes, etc…. and unfortunately, her heart. Chloe has had 8 major surgeries since the age of 3 on her spine, feet, and mouth. She has been on heart medicine since the age of 4 to help the progression of her heart disease. We found out this last year that her heart is struggling a little bit but we continue to be hopeful. If you met Chloe, you would never know the struggles she endures every day. She is truly a fighter, full of smiles, and captures the goodness in every day. She has made us realize that every day is a gift and she has helped our family find the blessing in every moment in life. Our blessing is that we have Chloe, we know her diagnosis, we know how to manage it, and we hope to help another family raise the awareness and know the symptoms. Knowing the signs, we can save a life.

- Audrey (Chloe’s Mom)

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Inspirational Honoree
Brian Howard


Brian Howard PhotoAs an American Heart Association board member, Brian Howard knows the importance of heart health. That knowledge helped him on the road to his open-heart surgery last August.

It all started with an odd pain in his chest while working out too hard. At the time, Brian didn’t think too much of it and decided to tell his doctor at his annual physical coming up. As he got closer to his physical, he noticed he was running more slowly on the treadmill. He went for a bike ride and had to stop after quickly becoming out of breath and feeling pain in his chest.

He described it all to his doctor and she immediately ordered some tests. They found a blockage in his artery and Brian was scheduled to have a stent put in the next week.

While waiting for his stent, Brian felt a pain in his left side. “Normally, I wouldn’t react,” he said, “but I called the doctor right away.” His stent was moved up to the next day. Unfortunately, that’s when the doctor realized the blockage was in a place where the stent would not work. The medical team scheduled an open-heart surgery.

While waiting in the hospital overnight, Brian was in pain and even briefly lost consciousness. Doctors had to put a balloon in his artery to help blood flow. A few hours later, the doctor told him the surgery had to happen right away. “The doctor told me, ‘You’re going to have this surgery or you’re doing to die,’” Brian said, “I said ‘Let’s go.’”

Brian’s surgery went well, but the recovery was difficult. “The mental part after surgery was an emotional challenge,” Brian said, “I worked through it, but you don’t want to go through this.”

Brian was always physical active, but now he’s focusing on walking as part of his recovery. He sticks to it more than he used to and is working back up to faster speeds. He changed his diet immediately to help reduce his risk. “My father had quadruple bypass, but I never put it together that I was at risk, because I was fine.”

Brian doesn’t want you to go through what he did. He wants people to listen to their bodies and get medical help right away to avoid needing open heart surgery.

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