FEBRUARY is HEART MONTH, Help the Heart and Stroke Foundation improve the health of Canadians

By George Winningder

Heart disease touches almost all of our lives in some way. For some it’s the after-effects of a stroke on the family or the loss of a loved one to heart attack; for others, it may be the strictures of a chronic heart condition. Cardiovascular diseases cause serious disruptions or even loss of  life for thousands of Canadians every year. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is key in leading the efforts to prevent and treat heart disease and it needs your help to do so.

For that reason, volunteers from The Revelstoke Unit of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon are braving the chill and ice to visit their neighbours seeking donations during February, Heart Month in Canada. Please be kind when one of these dedicated people comes to your door.

While the main feature of the Heart Month campaign is the door to door canvass, local businesses also do their part. Coopers supports HSF with its Heart Day, Saturday, February 12 from 8 am until 6 pm. Coopers will donate $.25 to the Heart and Stroke Foundation for each bag of groceries purchased. As you do your shopping on February 12 you may notice that the staffs of several downtown businesses will be sporting a heart pin, red clothing and jeans as a sign that they are donating to HSF and participating in Dress Red.

In recent years, people have become very concerned that their donations be used wisely. With the Heart and Stroke Foundation, your dollars:

  • help promote healthy lifestyles, leading to better heart health
  • provide advocacy with governments and other agencies for heart-friendly policies and inter organizational cooperation
  • fund ground-breaking research.

HSF is providing crucial health leadership in our country. Dr. Jonathan Chong of Simon Fraser University who is working on improving success with transplanted organs says of his HSF funding; “In addition to this financial support, the affiliation of my research program with the Heart and Stroke Foundation provides national recognition and exposure that facilitates interactions with other research programs across Canada with similar interests.”

Ongoing Heart and Stroke Foundation efforts include:

  • support for the implementation BC Stroke Strategy which aims to provide faster response times to cardiac emergencies and better immediate treatment leading to improved outcomes.
  • providing public education through publications and the extensive HSF website as well as coordinating support offered through a variety of resources.
  • helping to reduce obesity and improve the general health of Canadians.

For further information on heart health and positive lifestyle choices, visit the HSF website;  www.heartandstroke.ca or check out the table at Coopers on Heart Day; Saturday, Feb. 12 when you drop off your tickets and enter the prize draw. By the way, if your aren’t already aware of the signs of stroke, it would be an opportunity to pick up a card with what could be life-saving information. A recent study has shown that early recognition of stroke symptoms improves your odds for positive treatment outcomes.  If you have questions about the local campaign, wish to make a donation or would like to volunteer, please call Noreen Allsopp at 250-837-9648.