This weekend was supposed to be our wedding weekend. When we announced we were cancelling our wedding during the current situation so many people reached out with supportive messages. We thank you all for all your love and support!
My response often was, "Well there are worse things that could happen. We will be alright." And then I got the message I did not want to receive. My uncle unexpectedly passed away. I was devastated with this news. I was supposed to be seeing him this week at my wedding. I was even more saddened to hear that he was cremated in the outfit he was supposed to be wearing to my wedding. Life is precious, if we can take control of it we should.
My family is still deeply saddened by the loss of my dear chittappa who died in his 60s of Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD). This is something we did not know ran in my family. Apparently my grandfather passed away from the same cause early in his life. IHD cannot be cured, but once identified it can be managed with medical interventions and lifestyle changes which incorporate exercise. Education is important to create the life we want.
With all this in mind, Navin and I have decided to participate in the Ride for Heart. We usually ride 30-50km over a weekend, but this weekend we decided to double that and ride at least 100km in honour of my chittappa. Family is everything to us.
We ask you all to join us and to help spread awareness of this awful disease. We realize that not all of you are into cycling. We ask you to join us in any capacity you can. You can walk, swim, roller blade, run or anything else which gets you moving and in turn your heart pumping. Also, please talk to your family about any history of heart disease and if there are some, speak to your family doctor to see if you have to undergo further investigations. Early identification is key, followed by a healthy lifestyle.
If any of you want to donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, please feel free to. Manulife is currently tripling any donations made in support of this ride. There are so many great causes to donate to at the moment. Our goal is not to raise money. Our goal is to raise awareness. Our goal is to get you to start or continue an exercise regime. If you do not know where to start, please reach out to me. I have helped many start a safe and meaningful exercise regime and am more than happy to help you as well.
We are looking forward to spending our original wedding weekend spreading awareness and biking for a great cause. If you want to join us for any part of our ride, we are more than happy to coordinate a socially distant ride.
Gopika and Navin
P.S. Please feel free to share any pictures of you participating in some form of physical activity or raising awareness of heart disease with our wedding hashtag