Meet Predist "Ron" Walker, a You're the Cure advocate who serves on our 2016-2017 Florida Advocacy Committee.
I finished my running career, went into the Army for two years, and then joined my local Police Department in Newport News, Virginia where I became a member of the SWAT Team and a Field Training Officer.
One morning as I was running, I began coughing non-stop and ended up in the hospital with the diagnosis of an enlarged heart (dilated cardio myopathy). The doctors informed me that I was in need of a heart transplant. Despite my uncertain future, I stayed optimistic as I awaited a transplant.
On October 1, 1988 I received my new heart at the Medical College of Virginia with a promise to my family and doctors that I would keep this heart healthy which I did for 20 years.
In 1997 my family and I moved to Florida, and I jumped back into law enforcement, as a Criminal Investigator for the Public Defender's Office. I still wanted to give back after such life changing circumstances, so I did my first Heart Walk in 1999 in West Palm Beach. Seeing the wealth of information and other survivors of heart disease made such an impact on me that I became a spokesperson for five of the 15 years I participated in the walks, talking to the public about heart disease and stroke.
Once again I became stricken with heart disease. Fortunately, on Easter Sunday - 2008, I received my second heart transplant and another chance at life.
I live smarter and a little wiser with the understanding that life is short, live it to the fullest.