My name is Mark Pullen, and I am the Campaign Manager for the Ride for Heart. I am deeply familiar with the incredible work that Heart & Stroke has done over the last 70 years in fighting Heart Disease and Stroke, 2 of the 3 leading causes of death in Canada. I, like so many others unfortunately have been impacted by these horrible diseases - from my own family, to friends parents, to colleagues I have worked with. Over the last 70 years, the death rate from Heart Disease and Stroke has been reduced by 75%, but unfortunately there is still MUCH work left to be done, especially given the unique situation facing us with COVID-19.
These are stressful and perilous times for people living with heart disease and stroke, as they are at an increased risk of becoming very ill and dying if they contract COVID-19.
Daunting figures, becoming available just now, suggest that people with heart conditions have a four times higher risk of dying than people without underlying conditions, and those who’ve had a previous stroke are three times more likely to die.
In addition, we are just learning that the virus can damage an otherwise healthy heart and it can also impact the brain. And public health measures, including physical isolation, are particularly difficult for people with our diseases, people that require ongoing care, rehabilitation, assistance with daily activities and regular medical appointments.
Bottom line, COVID-19 is making our diseases worse, and funding research is more critical than ever.
If you can, please support me on my Virtual Ride for Heart Journey in June by making a donation through my personal page and help us continue to save lives and support our communities during these challenging times.