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Acton Family Walks for Daughter

Santa Sasena, 51, of Acton and a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Boston has a personal reason to take part in the Boston Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association (AHA).

Her daughter, Annie, a now thriving teenager, was born without a right ventricle and with malformed coronary arteries. Sasena says that her daughter is living proof of the miracles of modern medicine made possible by the funds raised through this event.

Santa Sasena, 51, of Acton and a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Boston has a personal reason to take part in the Boston Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association (AHA). Her daughter, Annie, a now thriving teenager, was born without a right ventricle and with malformed coronary arteries. Sasena says that her daughter is living proof of the miracles of modern medicine made possible by the funds raised through this event.

On Saturday, September 15, Sasena will walk up to six miles alongside 100 members of Team PwC. Their goal is to raise money and bring awareness to programs aimed at reducing coronary heart disease and strokes and improve education and patient care. Sasena has walked as a part of Team PwC in the Boston Heart walk since her daughter was born in 1998.

“Twenty years ago kids like Annie would never have had a chance. Initially her doctors didn’t think she would make it either,” says Sasena. “The first six months were incredibly difficult – but she’s a fighter.” Within in the first few months of Annie’s life, she had three open heart surgeries and this past year she had a pacemaker put in.

Annie, now 14, is a flourishing young woman who has served as one of the Boston Heart Walk’s top fundraisers the past three years, raising more than $85,000 for the cause. She is an actual poster child for the event, and can be seen featured on PwC banners along the Boston Heart Walk Route. She will walk with Team PwC alongside her mother, father, brother, friends and classmates.

Sasena has served as the captain of Team PwC for the past 10-years and it was always her goal to have PwC’s name featured as a sponsor of the event. “I am very proud of PwC and its commitment to the American Heart Association,” says Sasena. “It’s so important to raise money to fund research, advance technology and get better lunches and defibrillators into public schools. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer in the US, awareness is key."

Corporate philanthropy is important to PwC. In addition to sponsoring the Boston Heart Walk and last month’s Pan-Mass Challenge, PwC Boston supports countless charities in the area, contributing more than $700,000 in paid employee hours to volunteerism in fiscal year 2011.

This is the 10th year that PwC has rallied together to form a team of walkers to support the Boston Heart Walk raising a total of $300,000 for the cause. To register to join Team PwC or to support Team PwC, visit BostonHeartWalk.org, click on “donate” and enter Team PwC.

“PwC is the best when you are at your worst,” says Sasena. “When we were in the hospital for weeks we had streams of visitors. The environment here is unlike anything I have ever experienced professionally. I wouldn’t have gotten through it without the help of my PwC family and I am proud to walk alongside them each September.”

Please let me know when I can put you in touch with the Santa Sasena for an interview so she can tell you firsthand about her participation in Team PwC what this cause means to her family.

Note: this story was sent to Acton Patch by Teak Media Communications, LLC

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