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May 6 Walk and 5K Run to Aid Heart Failure Research

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

WHAT:            Karen’s Walk and 5K Run

WHEN:           Saturday, May 6:8:30 a.m. registration; 10 a.m. start; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. refreshments, information session, awards and live entertainment

WHERE:            Rochester Institute of Technology’s campus loop

REGISTER:            Call (585) 350-5122 or log on to

A community walk and 5K run to support heart failure research at the University of Rochester Medical Center will be held Saturday, May 6, by a Rochester Institute of Technology fraternity to remember Karen Decker, who died of a form of heart failure in 2002.

The fourth annual Karen’s Walk, co-sponsored by Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and the RIT Running Club 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.

A friend of a Phi Sigma Pi member, Karen died suddenly March 20, 2002, just weeks after delivering her daughter. Phi Sigma Pi organized the benefit four years ago as the Walk for Hannah, to create a college scholarship fund for Karen Decker’s daughter, Hannah Grace. Three years ago, the fraternity began designating pledge dollars for research of the disease that took Karen’s life. The fraternity has raised more than $10,000 for the Karen Decker Research for Cardiomyopathy Fund at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

This year, Phi Sigma Pi has joined forces with the RIT Running Club to organize the first 5K run to benefit heart failure research.

“We appreciate the support we’ve received from the community during the last few years, and look forward to growing the fund-raiser with the RIT Running Club,” says event organizer Nikhil Nampalli, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major at RIT. “Our goal this year, with the help of participants and the entire community, is to again increase the amount we raise for heart failure research, so we can honor Karen’s legacy and have a significant impact on the health of women in the future.”

RIT Running Club president Travis Thomas, a fifth-year computer engineering student, says “Our members are thrilled to be combining our energy with that of Phi Sigma Pi in this effort to raise money for such a worthwhile cause, and to help raise awareness about heart failure and its impact.”

Registration and pledge forms are available in the Paul N. Yu Heart Center at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center, at the Community Service Center on the RIT campus, or online at Donations may be sent to the Karen Decker Research for Cardiomyopathy Fund, c/o advisor Elissa Weeden, Phi Sigma Pi, Department of Information Technology RIT, 102 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, N.Y., 14623. Checks may be made payable to Phi Sigma Pi, Delta Alpha Chapter.

Media Contact

Karin Christensen

(585) 275-1311

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