Dubuque Area Heart Walk, KWWL's Ron Steele shares personal story - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Area Heart Walk, KWWL's Ron Steele shares personal story

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Hundreds of people came out to raise money for the annual Dubuque Area Heart Walk.

This year is a special one for the emcee, KWWL's Ron Steele. "I'm twelve weeks out now from quadruple bypass open heart surgery," he said. "When I say, I am just so happy and grateful to be able to be here with you today, you need to believe me."

Ron shared his personal story. "I was born with a congenital heart defect -- a hole in my heart, they call it. I guess had never affected me, my entire life, but they repaired that as well."

He also told a few jokes. "Heck -- if I hadn't had that, I'd probably still be playing for the Cubs, you know."

As part of the American Heart Association, the money raised for the walk stays local. It will go towards research, education, and public policy initiatives. 

It will also help children like 8-year-old Carter Jaeger, who was born with four congenital heart defects. "Carter will continue to have heart surgeries for the rest of his life, but the worst of it is passed now, thankfully," said his mother Lindsey.

Both Carter and Ron, are now survivors.

"Like I say, I'm now wearing my own survivors hat, and in the past I thought there's just no way that'll ever happen to me. So, I think it was just a real wake-up call for me and so many of my friends who've said, I'm going in to get checked out and get a new baseline on my own health," said Ron.

This year's goal for the Dubuque Area Heart Walk is to raise a record $200,000. At last check, nearly $92,000 has been raised. To find out how to help, visit: http://www2.heart.org/site/TR/HeartWalk/MWA-MidWestAffiliate?pg=entry&fr_id=2134

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