Austin man says heart research identified a deadly gene in his family

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN is teaming up with the American Heart Association to raise awareness and money to fight heart disease and stroke on October 19.

Someone dies from heart disease, stroke, or another cardiovascular disease every 43 seconds in this country. Millions of people are at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. The AHA’s Heart Walk helps fund innovative research for new treatments and programs.

“When people make a donation of a dollar, a hundred dollars, ten thousand dollars it is directly going locally here, like the University of Texas to research that is saving lives,” said Greg Weaver.

The research helped discover a deadly gene in his family. Weaver’s father and brother died of an aortic aneurysm.

“It was determined it was probably genetic. We had a cardiologist refer us to this research program at the University of Texas. As soon as we were identified as a family they wanted to do the research on all our family sent in our saliva which was DNA that put us into a system that researches all the genes that causes heart problems.”

Weaver then waited for a phone call to find out if he had the gene, “they told us ‘never expect to hear back from us. This research isn’t about you and your family. This research is part of science for decades down the road. So they set the expectation ‘you’re not going to hear from us’ and then I got the phone call in December.”

Researchers told Weaver he doesn’t have the gene that killed his father and brother. “They found the gene in our family that has been there for 6 decades and I don’t have the gene which means my kids don’t have the gene.”

The Weaver’s are just one family touched by research through The American Heart Association. It’s why Weaver walks every year for AHA’s fundraiser at the Long Center. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and events get underway starting at 8:30 a.m. In addition to a 5K and 3.1-mile walk, there will also be a kid’s zone and plenty of inspiration to go around.

KXAN is a proud sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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