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Walk to help beat back breast cancer and heart disease

Throw on a pair of sneakers and you can join the fight against heart disease and breast cancer.

Prospect Park will play host to two walkathons — the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk on October 11 and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 18.

Both events raise money to fund services and research to fight the diseases.

“I want to invite you to our most important event of the year,” Sally Cooper, head of the American Cancer Society’s Brooklyn division, told residents at a meeting of Community Board 13 in Coney Island.

“About 10,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Brooklyn,” Cooper explained. “This is the only breast cancer walk that pays for services for families in Brooklyn.”

Last year, the American Cancer Society’s Brooklyn division helped 2,900 families in the borough dealing with breast cancer.

“If we all rock the house in Brooklyn this year, we’re going to be able to help 3,500 families in Brooklyn,” Cooper said.

The American Heart Association has teamed with the American Stroke Association for its walkathon. The organizations are asking Brooklynites to participate “to help build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

The groups note, “Close to one million lives are lost annually from heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 causes of death — 27,000 people from New York City alone.”

Cooper is visiting local civic organizations to ask Brooklynites to form teams to participate in the walkathon.

“Every penny does help,” she said. “We don’t get government support.”

Chuck Reichenthal, Community Board 13’s district manager, said the board is getting involved.

“We’re going to have a great Community Board 13 team,” he said. “You just save your energy for the last hill.”

To register for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, visit www.cancer.org/stridesonline. Registration can be done on the day of the event at the Prospect Park Ninth Street Bandshell at 10 a.m. The walk begins at 11 a.m.

To participate in the Heart Walk, call 212-878-5977 or visit www.brooklynheartwalk.org. On the day of the event, registration begins at 9 a.m. The walk starts at 11 a.m. Enter Prospect Park at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West.

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