65-year-old runner says simple heart test saved his life and urges others

Good Day Dakota

According to the American Heart Association, one person dies every 37 seconds from a heart-related disease. It can happen to anyone at any age.

Mike Seminary is a man you might have heard of. He was not only formerly Bismarck’s mayor but he is possibly one of the most dedicated runners in the state of North Dakota.

Seminary has made running an everyday priority since 1975. However, he recently had to undergo angioplasty surgery and wants to stress the importance of getting checked no matter how much exercise you do.

Seminary says,”No I don’t like taking days off– if it’s that cold I’ll go to the Y and do the loops.”

65-year-old Mike Seminary tells KX News he runs five miles every single morning. His general rules of thumb are if it’s negative 25 degrees or the wind chill is negative 40 degrees or below he won’t go out, and other than that everything else is a free game for him.

“Because of either an injury or a real significant illness– which is rare, I’m aware of one time out of all the years I have been running that I missed 4 consecutive days and that was really hard on me.”

Seminary also keeps a very healthy diet. However, about five years ago he was told he had high cholesterol. Then last November he was told the same thing again and was encouraged to get a calcium test done, which he admits he forgot to do– until one day he was in for an oil change.

“A guy was giving me a ride to the office here– younger than me and he was talking he had just had a calcium score test. And the day they had his test they scheduled an emergency bypass surgery for him. So I called the doctor and said we should probably get that taken care of,” says Seminary.

Good thing he called because after having his own calcium test done, he was told that his calcium levels were at 1,400 while the average person usually scores anywhere between 300-500. He then had to undergo an angioplasty surgery and had two stents put in.

Seminary says, “The calcium score test isn’t going to be a big revelation for everyone– but it cost me $25 and it took about five minutes. It might have saved my life.”

He says the surgery was quick and he’s back to normal. He’s only had to modify his diet a little and pay more attention to food labels. And when it comes to running he says nothing will keep him from that.

“I haven’t missed a beat. On the day of my stress test I ran. The day of my procedure I ran and the day I was released I ran.”

Seminary says although he is healthy he did have risk factors including a family history of high cholesterol and heart attacks. He adds he is grateful for all the amazing doctors and care he got at Sanford.

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