Hello Family, Friends and Co-workers,
February is Heart Month and this will be my 4th year volunteering with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
I sincerely would like to thank you for your support over the years as I have been canvassing in memory of my Father-In-Law, Domenico Ricci and supporting a special survivor, my wife Mary! (Domenico's Daughter)
My Father in law retired from HJ Heinz company at the age of 55. He was overweight and had high cholesterol. He decided he needed to get active and make some healthy lifestyle changes. He started walking every morning. He and his walking partner decided to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. They decided to organize a walk from Leamington to Windsor to raise these funds. The goal was to raise $2000 however, with overwhelming support from the community and having walked 50 km’s in 6 hrs 45 mins, they successfully raised $7558 for this worthy cause.
His hobby of walking became a passion for running. By the age of 68, he had completed 21 marathons. His greatest achievement, having run the Boston Marathon twice.
Without warning, in 2003, at the age of 68, he died suddenly of a massive heart attack in his sleep. We were told by the doctors, had he not been exercising, we would have lost him 10 years sooner.
My Wife Mary's Story:
Last year, while I was fundraising for Heart and Stroke, Mary called me. She was concerned because she was experiencing tightness in her throat and shortness of breath on exertion.
Mary keeps active and follows a fairly healthy diet. She decided to have a cardiac workup done, and although the bloodwork and ECG were negative the doctor recommended a treadmill test. Unfortunately for her, she failed it. The next words out of the doctors mouth were " I need to admit you". The doctor said she had all signs and symptoms of heart disease. They knew she had blockage in her arteries, the question was where an how much??
Ironically, on Valentine’s day Mary was admitted and monitored while she waited for an Angiogram. On Friday February 16th 2018 she had her procedure and they found 95% blockage of her LAD (left anterior descending) artery. This particular type of blockage is referred to as “The Widow Maker". Fortunately the practice is to complete an Angioplasty immediately (when possible) and they saved her!
The doctor said she was “literally holding on by a thread” and if she had not listened to her body she would not have survived a heart attack. This was the same blockage her father died from.
51% of Canadians are aware of a family history of heart disease or stroke – but one third of them have not discussed this with a doctor. Family history can double your risk of heart disease or stroke. As in Mary’s case, it is genetic.
The latest statistics are alarming:
#1 Cause of Premature death in Women in Canada in heart disease and stroke.
53% of women who experience heart attack symptoms have them go unrecognized.
Heart disease and stroke takes a Canadian life every 7 minutes.
I’m fundraising to help ensure life-saving research can continue. We are determined to help those that live in Canada live long, healthy lives so they can enjoy their most cherished moments today, and make the most of those to come.This February, it is my goal to raise $2020.00 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Heart disease knows no boundaries. It affects both the young and old, active or inactive. I hope to encourage everyone to make healthy lifestyle choices, to listen to their bodies like Mary did, and to have a conversation with your family doctor.
Your support is appreciated and receipts will be provided for any donation over $15,