Heart and Stroke Foundation's person to person canvasing campaign reaches milestone of 60th anniversary
Credit: MAKIDOTVN (THINKSTOCK)
This year marks the Heart and Stroke Foundation's 60th anniversary of its person to person canvasing campaign
The Heart and Stroke Foundation is a Canadian charity dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research for heart disease and stroke. ‘Last year we were able to raise about $350,000 in the area, which is absolutely incredible. We are hoping to up that number this year to reach 358,000 across the area,” Dajana Dragicevic, the London area co-ordinator for the Heart and Stroke Foundation said.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation website, there has been a 75 per cent decline in heart disease and stroke deaths since 1952, the year the organization was founded. This is due to all the volunteering and breakthrough research from passionate individuals. In addition, the foundation is able to fund 850 researchers in medical institutions to study heart disease and stroke.
During the person to person canvasing campaign, volunteers go door-to-door raising awareness on the topic of heart disease and stroke while asking for monetary donations to go towards research and other initiatives. A huge focus of this year’s canvasing campaign will surround women’s heart health. Dragicevic explained that women might experience slightly different symptoms than what is considered mainstream and better known, to a lot of individuals in regards to heart disease. Dajana explained that a lot of individuals compare the chest pressure to an elephant sitting on their chest. However, in some cases, the pain is not like that at all. Instead, some women will often experience pain in the jaws, in their arms or confuse it as indigestion.
The foundation is looking for just over 2,700 volunteers in the Middlesex, St. Thomas, Elgin and Chatham-Kent regions to help with their person to person campaign this year.
Another common fundraising event that companies and organizations often participate in to raise awareness and funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation is the Big Bike event. The event lets 30 participants cycle through the city of London to help raise awareness for the campaign. According to Dajana, the participants bike together for approximately two kilometers.
Hundreds of individuals also host their own personal fundraisers throughout the year in order to raise money for the foundation.
“We have come a long way but the fact of the matter is still that every seven minutes one Canadian life is taken from either heart disease or stroke. That is something we are definitely looking to change,” Dragicevic said.
Dajana explained that one of the latest milestones in heart and stroke research is a treatment called the ESCAPE, which showed to reduce ischemic stroke deaths by 50 per cent during its trial run. “Scientists are actually saying that [the ESCAPE] is the biggest breakthrough in stroke research within the last 20 years,” Dragicevic said. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation website, a probe is inserted into an artery in an individual’s groin and travels into the brain and pulls out the blood clot that is blocking a large artery to the brain, causing an instantaneous removement of the blockage. “It’s absolutely amazing the strides we are taking and we are very proud to say we were able to co-fund [ESCAPE] at Heart and Stroke and even more proud to say it is available now here in London,” Dragicevic said.
Individuals can visit the foundations website at heartandstroke.ca/help to learn more information regarding current events, fundraisers and research accomplishments since the foundation’s beginning.