RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Sunday, around 400 people and dogs gathered in Founders Park for the 23rd annual 5k February Freeze. This was free to attend and was hosted by Monument Health to bring awareness and support to heart disease.

“We would just like to say thank you to the community for coming together. We had 96 prizes donated for us this year, which is huge,” said Breahna Barker, an Exercise physiologist at Monument Health.

This 5k kicked off the National Cardiac Rehabilitation week which goes from February 13th to February 19th.

This week was founded by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehabilitation is for anyone recovering from a heart problem, heart failure, or a heart attack. Some of the benefits of rehabilitation include strengthening your body and heart, relieving chest pain, and reducing stress.

According to the CDC, one in four people has already suffered from a heart attack, and about 800,00 thousand people have a heart attack every year in the United States.

According to National Today, cardiac diseases are some of the leading causes of death, which claim one million lives per year.

Although the event brought awareness and support to heart disease, one boy said he was there for a different reason.

“cause my mom wanted to have a workout,” said Braxtyn, a participant in February Freeze.

In addition, the Black Hills Humane Society was also at the event, to help get one of their three-legged dogs adopted.

“She was our trial dog, so we wanted to see how she did, and she did amazing. So, this is something we definitely want to start incorporating into our facility. Having people take our dogs out for us, get them out there, get the public to see how wonderful these dogs are, so they can come on down to adopt them,” said Kay Kieper, outreach education coordinator, Black Hills Humane Society.

Events like the February Freeze 5k walk and run are held across the United States to help raise awareness and celebrate the accomplishments of cardiac patients.

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