In 2009, having been educated on the risk factors for heart disease, my mom pestered my dad to get a stress test. His charming, VP of Sales, "I don't look sick" self almost convinced her to drop it. Emphasis on almost.
In 2009, that stress test led to a cardiac catheterization, which uncovered 4 vessels 100% occluded and one vessel with 95% occlusion. Reminder: your heart only has five vessels.
In 2009, on a Thursday, my dad realized only 5% stood between him and a heart attack. A quadruple bypass was scheduled for Tuesday. This meant he had one weekend to spend his 5% on whatever he wanted – he used it to ride his motorcyle, hang with his family and defer housework. He even squeezed in time to write my mom a note – "I love you Geri. Always have, always will." It displayed in her medicine cabinet for years.
In 2009, a quadruple bypass saved my dad's life. Access to knowledge that led to this surgery saved my dad's life. Saved my whole family. Reminded us of the fragility of this life and gave us a chance to reprioritize what's important to us.
In 2020, my dad and I will be walking 5k to raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. For more than 60 years, this organization has been dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. They're equipping future generations with the knowledge to "pester" just as my mom did 11 years ago.
In 2020, my dad and I are about 11 years behind on supporting this cause – a gap we hope you'll help us bridge by supporting us today.