TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Thousands of people laced up their running shoes Saturday morning for the Tampa Bay Heart Walk.

“It is a solemn time to remember those lost too soon, but this is also a fabulous celebration of all those people who have survived,” News Channel 8 anchor Stacie Schaible saod.

Survivors like Jeff Wenzelburger whose life changed forever five months ago when he went to the ER for an EKG.

“Next thing I know they said I was in the middle of a massive heart attack, if I would’ve waited another hour, I wouldn’t be here,” he said.

Wenzelburger’s new goal is to educate people who could one day be in his shoes.

“It’s very important you take it very seriously, and to see all these wonderful people out here,” he said as he choked up.

“Does it mean a lot to you?,” 8 On Your Side reporter Nicole Rogers asked.

“A lot,” he responded in tears.

Every dollar raised will mean for research, more people trained in lifesaving CPR, more medical breakthroughs, and more lives saved.

Schaible kicked off the event saying she can’t think of any other cause closer to her heart

“My family is really my ‘why,'” she explained. “I had my father, my sister and my brother all suffered serious heart attacks.”

“I also walk for my kids to teach them the importance of being health and thinking of their heart,” she continued.

You can donate here.