(St. Augustine Beach, Fla) – On Saturday, September 10, St. Augustine United will host the inaugural Feel the Love 5k in St. Augustine Beach, Fla, benefitting Diana Kanaska-Folino, a single mother in need of a heart transplant.

The 5k will begin and end at the St. Augustine Beach Pier starting at 8 a.m. Kanaska-Folino is a local, single mother, just 40 years old and is in need of a heart transplant. While wading in the water on the beach she collapsed suddenly and nearly drowned. She was rescued and rushed to the hospital where she was paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors spent several days struggling to determine the cause of her near fatal accident. After a few days, her paralysis subsided and she began to recover the use of her body. Following extensive testing, her Doctors determined she was in heart failure. With no explanation she had lost some 80%-85% use of her heart. Her Ejection Fraction fluctuates between 19 and 21%. So began a long series of tests and treatments to try to bring her heart back to some normality. It was hoped that a series of medications would improve the function of her heart, but it did not.

In addition to the heart failure she was recently diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, an auto-immune disease and is undergoing treatments for that as well. Over the last three years, she has been in and out of the hospital many times for Quarter Page complications from heart failure leading to the need for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. The degibrillator will prevent cardiac arrest when her heart suffers life-threatening arrhythmias.

After a recent emergency hospital stay her doctors told her and her parents there was nothing else they could do to make her heart any better. They could only continue to medicate her to try to make her comfortable.

According to her doctores the only alternative was to consider talking to a Heart Transplant Specialist. She is now working with the heart transplant team at Mayo to begin the transplant process. Surgery and recovery costs will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Diana is no longer able to work due to her heart failure and despite having insurance the costs for her are going to be extreme, and are continuing to add up. Her parents, Deacon Charles and Darlene have tried to help as much as they can with finances along the way; however they are reaching their limits. St. Augustine United was founded to help ensure Diana has a very long and wonderful life ahead of her. Please consider helping however you can.

To register, sponsor or for more information about St. Augustine United or the Feel the Love 5K visit www.feelthelove5k.com.