Volunteers canvassing for heart month

February is heart month for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and volunteers will be canvassing across Canada.

Diane Pew canvasses for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. This is her 18th year as a volunteer canvasser.

February is heart month for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and volunteers will be canvassing across Canada during their heart month campaign.

For those who have experienced a heart attack, they are not likely to ever forget the pain associated with it or perhaps the fear they felt upon waking up in the Intensive Care Unit, intubated and hooked up to monitors.

For those who have suffered a stroke, they may remember the weeks of rehabilitation and are conscious daily of the disabilities they may have been left with.

For those who may have been on hand to call 9-1-1 when someone they loved was having a heart attack or stroke, they will forever remember the adrenaline rush, how time seemed to stand still and how the moments it took for the ambulance to arrive seemed more like hours.

The threat of being affected by these diseases is real and it is estimated that every seven minutes someone in Canada dies from heart attack or stroke and nine out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor.

Those risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, the lack of physical exercise and the use of tobacco.

The threat is amplified because of our aging population and sedentary lifestyles.

For close to 65 years the Heart and Stroke Foundation has been dedicated to fighting these two diseases. Since 1952 they have invested more than $1.4 billion in vital research, being the largest contributor in Canada, next to the Federal Government.

This lifesaving research has led to breakthroughs in heart surgeries and in stroke treatment and rehabilitation.

Over the past six decades, the deaths from heart disease and stroke have declined by more than 75 per cent.

It is because of the countless number of Canadians who have supported this organization, through their volunteer efforts and monetary donations, that real progress has been made.

Last year 19 canvassers from Summerland took part in the campaign and Diane Pew was one of them and this will be her 18th year going door to door.

“Most people have been very supportive when I come canvassing,” said Pew. “I’ve been doing it for so long, in the same area most people know who I am. I am always happy when they donate, because I think it is a good cause and it’s my way of giving back as well.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has not only invested in research, but also in education. They have helped Canadians of all ages learn how to make healthier life choices and were the first Canadian organization to call for a daily limit on sugars added to food and drink. They have called for regulations on eliminating trans- fats and reducing salt in processed food and for improved labelling of these products.

Along with other groups, they have also advocated for restrictions on the commercial marketing of food and beverages to children and for the plain packaging of all tobacco products.

Each year the Foundation works with partners to train Canadians in basic CPR and first aid.

To enable faster and better cardiac emergency and stroke response treatments, the organization co-authored and released updated guidelines for Emergency Cardiovascular Care and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

Through their Federal AED Program, they placed more than 3,200 automated external defibrillators in arenas and rinks across the country.

By now most people are familiar with the acronym FAST, because of the public awareness campaign that taught us to think of Face: is it drooping? Arms: can you raise both? Speech: is it slurred or jumbled? Time: to call 9-1-1 right away.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has some ambitious goals for the future.

By 2020, they hope to reduce the Canadian death rate from these heart disease and stroke a further 25 per cent.

Last year just under $10,000 was raised in our community and the organizers are hoping to increase that to $11,000 this year.

To volunteer, donate or learn more, go to www.heartandstroke.ca.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No personal information released following ransomware attack, says RDOS

The RDOS suffered an attempted ransomware attack in August, halting services

Salmon Arm Silverbacks face off against Vees in first of BCHL exhibition games

Games part of extended training camp leading to regular season start in December

Popular Penticton cafe shuts its doors

Saint Germaine Cafe and Gallery served its last latte Sept. 19

Kelowna filmmaker launches fundraiser for ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ fan movie

Donations will go towards the production of ‘The Sawyer Massacre’

What we know: Who’s up for election this fall in the South Okanagan

Premier Horgan has called for a snap election to be held Oct. 24

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Truck, Shuswap police vehicle collide during arrest of wanted man

Emergency response team and helicopter called out to assist in Chase area arrest

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shuswap search and rescue crew respond to dirt biker injured on Mount Ida

North Vancouver man transported to hospital for treatment of injuries

Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

‘Totally unnecessary’ – Okanagan-Shuswap Liberals MLAs reacts to election call

Eric Foster, Greg Kyllo say call is “political opportunity;’ each will seek re-election

Most Read