Gates runner speaks on importance of staying active

By on October 29, 2018
Bruce Rychwalski (holding sign) with Mended Hearts President Bernard Quinlan, Vice-President Eugene Binder and Program Chairman Marlene Adams.

Bruce Rychwalski (holding sign) with Mended Hearts President Bernard Quinlan, Vice-President Eugene Binder and Program Chairman Marlene Adams.

Gates heart patient and senior runner Bruce Rychwalski, 69, was the guest speaker at the Mended Hearts of Greater Rochester (Chapter 050) meeting on Monday, October 15, at the Knights of Columbus Center in Webster.

Rychwalski, a heart survivor and fitness advocate, has participated in 313 5K Events since experiencing a life-threatening Ventricular Tachycardia and being diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in 2011. ARVC is a genetic, heritable, progressive heart condition in which the muscle of the right ventricle is replaced by fat and fibrosis, which causes abnormal heart rhythms.

After describing his cardiac medical history, Rychwalski, a member of The Greater Rochester Track Club, stated the importance of keeping active and continuing to exercise after a medical diagnosis or procedure (e.g. surgery). He told the meeting attendees that his motto was “If you rest, you rust.” He also quipped that “the only way I won’t jog or walk tomorrow is if I wake up and I’m dead!”

He concluded his talk with the hope that he had encouraged and motivated the members of his audience not to lead sedentary lives. Rychwalski also took the opportunity to join Mended Hearts Chapter 050 before leaving the building.

Mended Hearts is a national and community-based non-profit organization that offers the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers. To offer this hope, Mended Hearts provides a variety of programs. Their mission is dedicated to “Inspiring hope and improving the quality of life for heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support.” The local community chapters help people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after heart disease diagnosis. Members listen, share their experiences and volunteer to talk to other heart patients about what they may face including lifestyle changes, depression, recovery, and treatment.

For more information about Mended Hearts go to www.mendedhearts.org.

Provided information and photo

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