Larry and Sherry Sietsma are advocates for a healthy lifestyle.

And part of their well-being includes encouraging others achieve their optimal health.

Last year, Larry Sietsma biked 444 miles on the Natchez Trace Parkway, starting in Natchez, Mississippi, winding through Mississippi and ending in Nashville, Tennessee. Sherry supported him, following behind by car, and their efforts raised money for Multiple Sclerosis research. It’s one of many rides he’s taken to boost his health while raising funds to help others.

In addition, the couple recently presented the Health First Foundation with a gift to assist Health First Aging Services. “My father is 101, and he had some health issues,” Sherry said. “Health First Home Care came in to help him, and we were very impressed with their care.”

That care compelled the couple to donate to the Foundation, with money designated to go to a program that assists older community members – Health First Aging Services. While the two services aren’t directly related, they are both part of Health First’s Integrated Delivery Network (IDN). The IDN’s goal is to improve the wellness and health of all Brevard residents. “We make a donation every year,” Larry said of supporting the Foundation.

The couple, married 54 years, started giving annually after learning about The Heart Center at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center a few years ago.

“We were invited to take a tour, and we were very impressed,” Sherry said.

The couple hopes their passion for embracing healthy habits will inspire others in the community to do the same. “It’s important to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Larry, who bikes about 42 miles a week at age 80.

Sherry keeps her health in check with long walks.

“If we exercise and try to eat healthy, maybe we won’t need to be in that Heart Center,” she joked.

To learn more about giving to the Foundation and all it does for the community, visit HFgive.org.