By Wendy Sarubbi | September 12, 2013 12:29 pm

UCF raised a record $45,604 for the 2013 Great Orlando Heart Walk on September 7, and College of Medicine faculty, staff and students contributed $4,007, all in an effort to fight heart disease, the nation’s leading killer.

Thirty-seven walkers from the College of Medicine and 622 from UCF joined the almost 20,000 who participated in the walk, held for the first time on the main UCF campus. The top medical school fundraiser was first-year M.D. student Hailee Stewart, who raised $675.

Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, co-chaired the UCF team with Dr. Tony Waldrop, UCF executive vice president and provost. On Saturday, she was joined in the walk by her father, daughter, son-in-law and 11-month-old grandson, Patrick, who is just learning to take his first steps.  Dr. German welcomed the crowd to UCF, noting that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in this country, responsible for 1 out of every four deaths.

“By coming together, today we form an army to fight heart disease,” she said. “We fight it by raising money for research and educational programs. At UCF we are training the next generation of healthcare providers, educators, scientists and engineers who are leading the fight. We fight it by walking together–with every step we commit to a healthier lifestyle.”

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