I was excited to ride in the 2020 Manulife Ride for Heart on Sunday June 7! I wanted to ride again to raise awareness of the symptoms of myocarditis and to train family doctors so other parents don't have to face the same tragedy our family had to face.
I wanted to ride in memory of my son Danny Siklos who died of myocarditis on September 9, 2011, just before his 24th birthday. Because myocarditis is hard to diagnose his doctors did not recognize his condition.
Now, because of COVID-19 I’m participating in the Manulife Heart & Stroke Virtual Ride for Heart, and I’m raising money to help people in Canada enjoy more moments with the people they love. Now more than ever, your support is critical to help Heart & Stroke continue the incredible work that they do especially since people living with heart disease and stroke are facing new risks due to COVID-19.
Myocarditis is a disease marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle.
The most common symptom of myocarditis is shortness of breath during exercise or exertion. This symptom usually develops 7 to 14 days after a viral illness and can progress to shortness of breath at night.
Other symptoms may include fatigue, heart palpitations and chest pain or pressure. The legs also may swell. Rarely, myocarditis causes a sudden loss of consciousness that may be due to abnormal heart rhythms. In summary, patients may experience some, all or none of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, light-headedness, irregular heartbeat, sudden loss of consciousness.
The majority of cases of myocarditis have no symptoms and are not diagnosed. However, when a person develops symptoms, common tests for myocarditis include the following:
• An Electrocardiogram
• A Chest X-Ray
• An Echocardiogram (abbreviated echo)
• Less frequently, a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be done to diagnose myocarditis
• Occasionally, a heart biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis.
In young adults up to 20% of sudden death cases have been reported to be due to myocarditis.
It is my hope that someday myocarditis research will result in more lives saved. To find out more about myocarditis follow the lint to the Myocarditis Foundation http://www.myocarditisfoundation.org
This the 8th year I'm the captain or co-captain of the Praxair Heart Riders & Walkers formerly Praxair Heart Riders and I have committed to becoming a Super VIP rider by raising a $2,500 in donations.
In the last 7 years, I raised over $17,000 and the Praxair Heart Rider team raised over $100,000. A matching contribution from the Praxair Global Giving Program, made the Praxair Heart Riders one of the top three teams in the Design and Manufacturing category in the last four years. Praxair Canada a Linde Company is again committed to match every dollar raised by the team.
Your support will help the Heart and Stroke Foundation to achieve its 2020 goal of reducing Canadians’ rate of death from heart disease and stroke by 25%.
Your donation will directly improve the lives of Canadians through preventing disease, saving lives and promoting recovery.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation is funding a really interesting study by David Marchant out of the University of Alberta. A summary of his work is:
“Myocarditis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall (myocardium) and is generally caused by a viral infection. In about 20% of viral heart infection cases the inflammation lingers, weakening the heart and resulting in heart failure with the only cure being a heart transplant. Dr. Marchant is studying the enzymes called MMPs that are expressed after an infection and can lead to heart failure. The MMPs can have both positive and negative effects on the heart cells but by preventing them from entering the cells, the positive antiviral benefits can be prolonged. Dr. Marchant is studying at what point preventing the MMPs from entering the cell can provide the optimal benefit. This will help determine new targets for interventions to prevent lingering effects of myocarditis leading to heart failure.”
You can commemorate Danny's life by supporting me and making a donation today.