May 1 Walk to Raise Funds for Cardiomyopathy Research

April 19, 2004

A community walk to benefit cardiomyopathy research at the University of Rochester Medical Center will be held May 1 by a Rochester Institute of Technology fraternity to remember Karen Decker, who died of postpartum cardiomyopathy in 2002.

The second annual Karen’s Walk, sponsored by Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity at the Rochester Institute of Technology, will raise awareness of postpartum cardiomyopathy, a rare disease of the heart muscle that develops in some women just after childbirth. There is no known cause.

Phi Sigma Pi organized the benefit two years ago as the Walk for Hannah, to create a college scholarship fund for Karen Decker’s daughter, Hannah Grace. A friend of a Phi Sigma Pi member, Karen died suddenly March 20, 2002, just weeks after delivering her daughter. Last year, the fraternity began designating pledge dollars for research of the disease that took Karen’s life. About 70 people walked in last year’s event, which raised $4,200. The fraternity’s goal this year is $6,000.

People of all ages can stroll RIT’s campus loop on Saturday, May 1, and enjoy live entertainment and refreshments. The 3-mile pledge walk begins at 1 p.m., with registration starting at noon. A barbecue will be held after the walk, with live entertainment. Proceeds raised will be donated to the Karen Decker Research for Cardiomyopathy fund at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“We’re grateful for the support we received from the community last spring and are pleased to continue the event in an effort to fund research related to cardiomyopathy,” says event organizer Eric Majewicz.

Pledge forms are available in the Paul N. Yu Heart Center at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center, at the Student Volunteer Center on the RIT campus or online at www.myphisigmapi.com/karenswalk. Donations may be sent to Eric Majewicz, 766 Kimball Drive, Rochester, 14623. Checks for the Karen Decker Research for Cardiomyopathy fund can be made payable to Phi Sigma Pi, Delta Alpha Chapter.

For Media Inquiries:
Karin Christensen
(585) 275-1311
Email Karin Christensen