February is Heart and Stroke month
Heart and Stroke area campaign chairperson Shawn Rawlings (left) and Portage Mayor Irvine Ferris pose for a photo while Ferris signs the proclamation naming February Heart and Stroke awareness month. (submitted photo)
Portage la Prairie Mayor Irvine Ferris signed a proclamation last week making February Heart and Stroke Awareness Month in Portage.
“This year we are focusing on educating the public on the signs of a heart attack and women’s heart and brain health,” says Shawn Rawlings, Heart and Stroke area campaign chairperson. “Women are under-diagnosed, under-treated, and generally misunderstood when it comes to their heart and brain health. The goal is to better understand heart disease and stroke in women, and to develop more effective methods for screening, detection, and treatment of these conditions in women.”
The mayor and council are very supportive of the cause with Heart and Stroke Manitoba as well as all other causes and organizations in Portage that help citizens cope with various issues affecting their lives. Brandon, Man., doctor, Dr. Wilfred Bigelow started The Heart and Stroke Foundation in 1958, and with research and new treatments developed over the years, heart attacks and strokes have been reduced by more than 75 per cent in Canada.
“Our health information includes health screening, risk assessments, recognizing the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes and many advanced treatments are all from the research from Heart and Stroke,” admits Rawlings. “It's so very important to continually educate the public to help save lives and strengthening the chain of survival in all Canadian communities.”
In Manitoba, the public’s contributions support nine fully funded research teams, more than anywhere else in Canada. Some of the key research presently being done is work on women's heart and brain health, background research of family genetics and DNA which can increase the risks of heart disease and stroke in some families, and new research on how to tell the heart to heal itself after a heart attack.
Manitoba has over 3000 canvassers going door to door to raise the funds needed for further research. The province hopes to raise $400,000 and $10 million across Canada. The Portage and surrounding areas are still looking for volunteers. Get in touch with Rawlings if interested in helping out at 204-871-0502 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.