Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Start! Heart Walk team honors Twanyetta Miller, 31

SAFETY HARBOR — Today, about 20,000 people will slip on their walking shoes and head toward Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Start! Heart Walk.

Some will walk 1 mile, others 3. With each step, they hope to bring awareness, save lives, remember loved ones.

"It's something so small to do," said Genelle Frazier, who will participate in her first walk in memory of her friend and co-worker, Twanyetta Miller.

Miller wasn't the typical face of heart disease. She wasn't obese. Her diet wasn't poor.

She was 31, a former junior Olympian who ran competitive track and field, health-conscious.

She was so proactive about her health, she got tested regularly for cancer, which runs in her family.

Despite getting annual physicals, she didn't know she had two clogged arteries.

"How do you get two clogged arteries?" her cousin, Dawn Schofield, asked. "That had to have happened over time. That should be checked and it wasn't — unless you request it."

Miller woke up the morning of Feb. 10 not knowing it would be her last.

She told her brother goodbye. She put on her shower cap and readied for work. She never made it out of her Safety Harbor home.

Her mother came home that afternoon and found her in the bed, dead of a massive heart attack.

"The silent killer," Schofield now calls it. "When we found out it was a heart attack, we were like, what? She showed no signs."

That's why about 90 relatives, friends and MetLife co-workers will participate in the walk.

"So another family won't be affected like we were," Schofield said.

It's an unusually high number and the most for any team this year, said Kate Sawa, spokeswoman for the Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association in St. Petersburg.

But to Miller's family and friends, it's not unusual at all.

"She touched a lot of people," Schofield said. "She knew a lot of people. She was one of the people you would meet and never forget."

They call themselves Lady Nole, a nod to Miller's alma mater and the inscription on her license plate. At Florida State University, she double-majored in finance and marketing and graduated cum laude.

"She was a die-hard Seminole fan," Schofield said, "and she conducted herself as a lady."

Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

Tampa Bay Start! Heart Walk team honors Twanyetta Miller, 31 11/13/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 13, 2009 8:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Val Kilmer says he's canceling his Tampa Bay Comic Con appearance

    Blogs

    Val Kilmer and the Tampa Bay Comic Con announced today that the Batman, Tombstone and Willow star has canceled his appearance at the convention in Tampa this weekend. 

    Val Kilmer has canceled his appearance at Tampa Bay Comic Con.
  2. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.

    Storm

    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    In this 1974 file photo, Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler looks to pass. Research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life _ evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. Stabler is among the cases previously reported. (AP Photo/File)
  3. Two-vehicle collision leaves driver dead, another with serious injuries

    Accidents

    SAN ANTONIO — A two-vehicle collision Tuesday morning in Pasco County left one person dead and another with serious injuries.

  4. Bob Graham says Trump appears to be pushing Jeff Sessions aside to get at Robert Mueller

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - President Trump's attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions is "unseemly" and without precedent, former Florida Sen. Bob Graham said this morning. 

    Former Sen. Bob Graham on CNN
  5. Innovocative Theatre company debuts with workmanlike production of 'Proof'

    Stage

    TAMPA — A new company debuts with Proof, David Auburn's Pulitzer-winning play. Innovocative Theatre, founded by Dunedin native Staci Sabarsky, is currently running productions out of Stageworks Theatre space. Sabarsky also directs and performs in the show.

    Dennis Duggan plays Robert Marie-Claude Tremblay plays Catherine in Innovocative Theatre's first production, Proof, by David Auburn. Photo courtesy of Staci Sabarsky.