In 2007, Peterborough resident and lawyer Mike Dwyer was active and fit. The last person you would guess would have heart problems. But almost two years ago, pain in his arm signaled there was something wrong. Initially, he dismissed the pain, assuming he'd strained himself during a workout. But the pain wouldn't go away.
Mere hours later, he collapsed in his law office and was rushed to PRHC, then to Kingston. Dwyer had a blocked artery and needed angioplasty to save his life.
Then in November 2007, the pain returned. This time Dwyer headed to hospital immediately, where he learned he needed a quadruple bypass, the second life-saving procedure in less than a year.
Dwyer was at risk for heart disease because both of his parents already had it. But being active and living a healthy lifestyle saved his life.
Since his surgery, he returned to being active and plans a cycling tour in Tuscany, plans that were postponed two years ago.
Today, Dwyer is a volunteer for the local Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSFO), both as a canvasser for the charity's person-to-person campaign and as a Heart Month ambassador.
By sharing his story, he wants to get the message out to fellow residents that by making a donation or volunteering your time, you can make a difference in the community.
Heart Month Campaign
On Feb. 1, the local office of the HSFO launched its annual fundraising drive. The HSFO has assembled a team of volunteers who will go door-to-door this month, collecting donations in their neighbourhoods.
The fundraising goal for Peterborough city and county is $115,000, with more than 850 volunteers canvassing during February to help meet this goal.
Last year, local canvassers raised $96,200; an increase of 44 percent from the previous year.
Heart Month events
Month-long Promotion -Heart Smart Card:Downtown Peterborough businesses offer a special deal or discount to card holders with proceeds from the sale of each card to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Cards are $5 and valid during the month of February.
The card is made possible through a partnership with the Fleming Event Management program and the Downtown Business Improvement Association. For more information contact Jake at jmann@fleming. on.caor visit www.godowntown.ca.
Health Fair:Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke at Lansdowne Place slated for Feb. 7 from 9 a. m. to 5 pm., with Vascular Health Network blood pressure clinic.
The day will feature a blood pressure clinic, cholesterol checks, cardiovascular risk assessment with a registered nurse; healthy lifestyle info on nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation as well as community resources.
This is a free community event sponsored by: Peterborough Regional Vascular Health Network; Regional Renal program; Ontario March of Dimes -Stroke Recovery Canada; Community Care Access Centre; Peterborough Regional Health Centre -District Stroke Centre; Peterborough Area Stroke Survivor Group; Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario; Peterborough County-City Health Unit's Health For Life program; Canadian Diabetes Association and Dr. Doug's Family Chiropractic Centre.
Puck Drop:At Peterborough Petes Feb. 7 hockey game. Time for the drop is 7 p. m. Heart attack survivor Kathy Hall will be on hand for the event.
Darts for Heart:Tournament fundraiser at Millbrook Legion. This is the 18th year for the annual event. It's planned for Feb. 8, starting at 9:30 p. m.
Fourth annual Spin-a-thon:Takes place at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre on Feb. 9 from 4 to 8 p. m. You can sign up for an hour of spinning and you'll need a minimum of $20 in pledges.
"Spinning is very popular and is the best low-impact exercise you can get," said HSFO's Hannah Routly. The exercise is done on stationary bikes and is led by an instructor.
Sign up by calling the Peterborough office at 749-1044 or online at www.fitforheart.ca
Visit Boston Pizza Feb. 14 and purchase a heart-shaped pizza. Proceeds go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
For the third year in a row, Downtown BIA executive director Mark Doherty is dying his hair blue and donating proceeds to the HSFO. Doherty 'goes blue' at Catalina's as part of the DBIA's Bluesfest and happens Feb 19.
For more information on Heart Month or to volunteer, please visit www.heartandstroke.ca/help.
Or call the Peterborough office at 749- 1044.