Nokia Walks the Walk For Heart Health

Heart health
September 11, 2017

On September 9, Nokia employees embodied our slogan, ‘Healthier Together,’ as they participated in the Dallas Heart Walk 2017, a 3.5 mile walk sponsored by the American Heart Association as part of their Healthy For Good campaign. Discover the heartbreaking story behind one employee’s motivation to walk—and how you too can help in the fight against heart disease.

Hadar Kauffman, a Nokia employee, is helping to lead the charge in raising funds to combat heart disease for the Dallas Heart Walk. While many Nokia employees have joined in to help spread the culture of health at Nokia and work to improve the health of all Americans, Hadar has an even more personal motivation, as she is intimately familiar with the tragic effects of cardiovascular disease.  

Seven years ago, Hadar’s daughter, Aliah, came into her room and said, “Something’s wrong with dad.” Hadar emerged to find her husband, Paul, laying down and breathing shallowly. While her first instinct was that he was choking on something, she soon realized something was truly wrong and began performing CPR. She told Aliah to call 911 as well as her neighbors to come help. 

When the ambulance arrived, the EMTs had to use an AED to shock Paul’s heart back into rhythm, as he had in fact suffered a severe heart attack. He was then rushed to the hospital, where hypothermia was induced, a technique that reduces the body temperature in order to reduce damage to the brain and organs and increase the chances of recovery. While the hospital staff was able to effectively treat him that day, he later developed complications and passed away a week later.

Paul with his children
Paul with his children

Such a tragedy is immensely difficult for anyone to go through, and Hadar’s children were only 10 and 6 at the time. Hadar and her family are now passionate advocates of living a heart-healthy lifestyle and are working to raise funds for the Dallas Heart Walk to help other families avoid losing loved ones to heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. “I don’t want any kids growing up to experience this or to grow up without their dad,” Hadar says. “And that is my main motivation.”  

2016 was the first year that Nokia employees participated in the Dallas Heart Walk, raising $56,398 to help combat heart disease. This year, Nokia has already contributed more than $46,000, and altogether, this year’s Dallas Heart Walk has raised more than 5 million dollars. Many Nokia employees from a number of different departments, from Operations to HR to Marketing, donated funds to the cause or joined a team to participate in the walk. One Nokia team is even headed by Aliah, who is acutely feeling the weight of the loss of her father as she enters her senior year of high school and looks ahead to graduation. 

As part of this year’s fundraising efforts, Nokia hosted a wine-tasting for employees in the Dallas area, and they are running a company-wide silent auction, with all proceeds going directly to the AHA. Although the 2017 walk has ended, if you would like to join Hadar and Nokia in contributing to this worthy cause, you can donate on any Nokia team’s page here, including Aliah’s. 

Here at Nokia we are passionate about inventing digital health devices that can help prevent and manage heart disease. We wholeheartedly support this initiative, and hope that you will to.