Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, with more than 250,000 Canadians living with congenital heart disease and many more suffering from cardiovascular diseases. The good news is that congenital heart disease is treatable with proper, lifelong care, and cardiovascular diseases are preventable.
What are cardiovascular diseases?
‘Coronary heart disease,’ ‘arrhythmia,’ ‘heart-valve disease’ and ‘heart failure’: you’ve probably heard about one or more of these ailments, which affect the heart itself. Cardiovascular diseases cover larger problems involving the blood vessels and circulatory system. Such chronic diseases are major, long-term contributors to poor quality of life, increased hospitalization, mental-health issues, and loss of employment. They also require specialized equipment, medication and services inside and outside of hospitals – all of which are extremely costly.
Medical research can improve drugs and treatments for diagnostic tests, blood clots, and heart and cardiovascular emergencies, and other research and education can help the public understand lifestyle issues to help prevent disease. But just as important as medical and technical fixes are community, social, psychological and emotional supports for individuals and their families and caregivers as they live with the long-term effects of the diseases — meeting others with the same symptoms or conditions, talking to people who they can relate to and learn from, and connecting with others who can tell them that they’re not alone.
Cardiovascular charities in Canada are helping with limited resources
Charities are at the heart of all these efforts. With limited resources, they conduct and support cardiovascular research in cities and regions across the country, providing information and services for diagnosis, treatment, and care of heart diseases. They operate and subsidize accommodations for the spouses and families of patients undergoing heart surgery and other cardiovascular procedures. They educate communities, contribute to patient care, encourage individuals and families, and support volunteers and staff at the forefront of patient care.
Help save lives, raise awareness, and support critical cardiovascular health research
To make it even easier for Canadians to support the critical work of these charities, The Healthy Hearts Fund, by CanadaHelps, is a new way to help those living with heart and cardiovascular diseases. Donations to the Fund will support more than 30 registered charities working to save lives and support people living with these diseases, especially people struggling financially who can’t afford the services, devices, support, rehab programs, and other things that increase healing and prevent death. Gifts made to this Fund are pooled together to achieve wide-reaching impact and to help Canadian charities continue their important work supporting critical research, raising awareness, providing education, and ensuring more Canadians get the treatment they need.