Annual Heart Scoot reminds East Texans of the risks of heart disease

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - "Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart," said heart disease survivor, Carsyn Roach.

Nine year old Roach beat the odds. On Saturday, he and dozens of family member's came to walk in this year's "Heart Scoot" in his honor.

"If you wait on God, he'll strengthen your heart," said Roach.

Carsyn underwent two open heart surgeries before he was five years old.

"I had blockage in my aortic valve," said Roach.

The Angelina County Heart Alliance hosts this event annually, reminding people that heart disease is a condition that should not be taken lightly.

"Heart disease is the highest killer of men and women. It's higher than cancer," said Angelina County Heart Alliance President, Charity Fennell.

This year's walk was held in memory of longtime Lufkin football coach, John Outlaw. Outlaw died after a routine morning jog in December last year. His passing reminds East Texans that heart disease can affect anyone.

"He unfortunately died of heart disease, and he's not someone, just looking at him. He ran four miles a day every day, and you just wouldn't expect it from somebody like that. And, we just want you to know it can be anybody," said Fennell.

Many of Outlaw's students, friends, and co-workers wore shirts and walked in his memory.

"I think he'd be very honored but also be humbled because he didn't like any attention to be called to himself," said Lynn Torres, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum at LISD.

Torres says she's proud to be a part of raising awareness.

"It makes me feel very emotional, as you can tell. And, we all loved him very much, and we still miss him," said Torres.

The money raised from Saturday's event will go toward providing each school in Angelina County with emergency defibrillators.

Torres says the t-shirts made in honor of Coach Outlaw will be available for the community to purchase in the future. Two dollars of all proceeds will go toward The John Outlaw Memorial Scholarship. The first scholarship will be given to a Lufkin senior this year.

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