Thunder Bay, ON ─ February is National Heart Month. This year over 100,000 volunteers across the country will embody what it means to be a proud Canadian…..committing time to walk door to door, friend to friend, colleague to colleague to raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke.
In Thunder Bay, Dryden, Fort Frances and Ignace, almost 700 volunteers will be visiting their family, friends and neighbors through February and March, braving whatever the Canadian weather throws at them with the goal of raising $90,000.
With one Canadian dying every 7 minutes in Canada from heart disease and stroke, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is committed to a vision of decreased mortality from cardiac emergency or stroke. With more than $1.4 billion invested in world class, life-saving Canadian research since its inception, the Foundation is putting even more attention on research that will tangibly improve the health of Canadians.
Through the generosity of Canadians giving at their doors this February, ground-breaking research to make heart disease and stroke obsolete is possible.
“Everyone who gives at the door in Northwestern Ontario is furthering research excellence here in Ontario. Every door opened and dollar given produces life-saving results that help us create more survivors. When you can say you’ve been part of the genetic breakthrough that erases heart defects in babies, that’s pretty amazing – and that’s where we’re going.” says Tara Monteith, Area Manager for the Northwestern Ontario area office.
Monteith says “the Heart Month Campaign is one of the Foundation’s biggest fundraising and awareness raising programs of the year. As HSF does not receive core government or United Way funding, this campaign is essential to the success of our mission.”
For decades, generous donations have driven research that has changed and saved lives across the country. In 1952, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) was responsible for almost half (46%) of all deaths in Canada. Today it accounts for just over one quarter (27%) of all deaths. Sixty years ago, fewer than 20% of infants born with complex heart defects reached adulthood, but today, more than 90% survive and thrive.
“It wasn’t easy to achieve a 75% decrease in death from cardiovascular disease, but that’s what we’ve achieved with the support of all our wonderful donors, volunteers and researchers” says Monteith.
Since the first successful open heart surgery performed in Canada, the Foundation has funded many milestones; new technology allowing doctors to monitor patients’ hearts remotely; new surgical techniques to treat irregular heartbeats; identification of the 10 modifiable risk factors that account for 90 per cent of strokes. This is only the beginning. Today, many Canadians are alive and healthy because of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. In 2014, we created 165,000 survivors by funding the development of lifesaving research and treatments. Our goal is to create and bring home more survivors to their families and loved ones.
For more information about how to support the Heart Month Campaign through volunteering, donating or holding your own community fundraising event, please contact the Thunder Bay area office at 623-1118.