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HeartBrothers’ 1st Annual Virtual 5K Run/Walk raises more than $31,500 to support heart failure

Local Mascolo family is Highest fundraiser with Team "All American Hearts"

When Mylesia Mascolo lost her father to heart failure in March of this year, she turned her grieving into action to help others.

Mascolo quickly went to work organizing Team All American Hearts (pictured below), a dedicated group of runners and walkers who participated in the HeartBrothers Foundation’s first-ever virtual 5K Run/Walk in early May to support heart failure patients in need.

Mascolo family at HeartBrothers May 2023 5K Run/Walk
Mascolo Family

“My dad bravely battled heart failure and the sequelae that comes with it until his passing,” said Mascolo, team captain, of Ellington, Conn. “This walk/run allowed us to put our energy into something positive and meaningful. My father was an extremely generous person and would have been so pleased with the efforts of everyone who participated and donated.”

The event raised more than $31,500 for The HeartBrothers Foundation. More than 20 teams participated, including close to 50 runners and walkers, and more than 340 people supported participants with donations to the event.

“We are beyond excited about the results of this year’s inaugural Run/Walk event and already have plans to host another run/walk again next year,” said Pat Sullivan, co-founder of the HeartBrothers Foundation. “We only started planning this event in late March, and to get this kind of outcome is just amazing to us.”

Proceeds from the Run/Walk will be used to help patients and their families on their heart failure journey.

“The magnitude of what these funds can do includes potentially pay for one unit of the HeartBrothers House for a full year,” Sullivan said. “Financial support for 20-25 patients, additional heart failure webinars, and new educational programs.”

Team All American Hearts raised $6,811 for the event. Mascolo herself was also the top individual fundraiser at $2,581 in donations; fundraiser Jen Wood from the same team raised $2,275, coming in at a close second.

The virtual event began on May 7 and lasted for a week, allowing participants to complete the distance over several days. The virtual format and 5K distance (or 3.1 miles) made it accessible to even many heart failure patients, regardless of their athletic ability or geographic location.

Local hospitals Tufts Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center also laced up sneakers in support and raised significant funds. These and other heart transplant centers in the New England area are routine supporters of the HeartBrothers efforts and their transplant teams and social workers work alongside Team HeartBrothers Ambassadors to ensure hospitalized patients receive ample peer-to-peer emotional support.

“I know I did it,” said Sullivan. “I got my 5K in, and I’m not one of the biggest walkers. From the bottom of my old and new heart, I want to thank you all.”

He had a special message for everyone who gave their time and money to help heart failure patients. “We want to thank you all for participating in this, and I’ll tell you, we’re going to do it again next year based on this amazing outcome,” Sullivan said.

For Mascolo, the event was a chance to help others, while remembering and honoring her father.

“My family, our friends, and I love what the HeartBrothers Foundation is all about,” Mascolo said. “We look forward to participating in the Run/Walk every year in memory of our father while helping the HeartBrothers raise the funds that are needed to support other heart failure patients and their families.”


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