Annual Cardiac Arrest will take place March 12
SIKESTON - Several Sikeston residents feel so strongly about the fight against cardiac disease and stroke, they're willing to go to jail to stand up for their belief.
The individuals will prove their point by participating in the American Heart Association's annual Cardiac Arrest from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 12 at Missouri Delta Medical Center, where those jailed will be booked (complete with an official mug shot and T-shirt), thrown into jail and wind up in a mock courtroom.
In order to be released from jail, each participant must post a bail of $100. Having the money with them will ensure a relatively short visit before the bench.
Every 33 seconds in the U.S. someone dies of cardiovascular disease which accounts for 36 percent of the annual deaths in Scott County and 41 percent of the total deaths in Missouri.
According to the AHA, the disease kills more than 953,000 Americans each year which is more than cancer, accidents and AIDS combined. Also, about 32,000 babies are born each year with heart defects.
Twenty-five percent of men and 38 percent of women die within one year after having a recognized heart attack.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long term disability. Someone in the U.S. dies of stroke every 53 seconds.
Twenty-eight percent of strokes occur in people under age 65. For those over age 55, the risk of stroke doubles with each successive decade.
For these reasons, Brenda Freed said the upcoming event is something the community should support.
"Almost everyone has been affected by heart disease and this is a fun and exciting way to raise money to help fight against America's number one killer," explained Freed, a "parole board" member. "The arrestees have had a week or two to raise their bail money amount from colleagues, friends and neighbors. With the bail money, the arestees turn themselves in at the jail site and are booked and appear before Judge Heartless."
The person who raises the most money over $100 will be named the "Most Wanted" and will receive a Cardiac Arrest sweatshirt.
The money raised from Cardiac Arrest will benefit the American Heart Association's programs of research and education. Since 1949, the AHA has funded more than 1.9 billion in cardiovascular research leading to such as advances as CPR, bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine, artificial heart valves, life-saving drugs and surgeries to repair heart defects.
The AHA also has developed useful educational programs targeted toward all ages in order to teach them how to combat heart and blood vessel diseases.
Currently there are about 25 people on the list of those who will be arrested. "I think it's a great cause and Cardiac Arrest is a good means of raising money, it's more than just a means of asking people for a donation," said Mike Moll who was arrested years ago for the fund-raiser.