LEICESTER, Mass. — For the sixth year, Leicester will raise awareness of myocarditis at this Saturday's Devin Kravitz Memorial 5K walk/run.
A graduate of Leicester High School, Kravitz was active in the town's Little League, soccer, Pop Warner football teams, as well as with the Leicester Volunteer Fire Department and the Greenville Baptist Youth Group.
On Oct. 25, 2006, he passed away in his sleep from cardiac arrest due to myocarditis of a viral origin. According to the Myocarditis Foundation, 5 percent to 20 percent of all sudden deaths in children are related to the disease, which is marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle.
The memorial road race raises awareness about the different forms of heart disease, and the simple tests that can help prevent heart-related deaths, especially in young people.
Last year, more than 200 participants from all over Worcester County took steps through Leicester to raise money for the American Heart Association and the Myocarditis Foundation, with proceeds specifically going toward research to reduce death caused by myocarditis.
The 6th Annual Devin Kravitz 5K walk/run is set to start at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Leicester Senior Center at 40 Winslow Ave., rain or shine. Kids events will follow.
Additionally, there will be refreshments and drawings for prizes, as well as face painting.
Entry fees are $15 for adults and $5 for kid ages 12 to 18. Forms can be found online. Race day registration is $20.
Those not able to run this weekend can still help by donating on the Devin Kravitz Fundraising Page.
To learn more about the disease, visit the Myocarditis Foundation's website.