Just over a year ago, Cailin and I were in Hawaii enjoying a break from the early Canadian winter. Addison, our four year old daughter, was very excited to be spending the week with Grandma. Halfway through our trip, I collapsed in the parking lot of our Airbnb on the way to pick up pizza. I had suffered a heart failure due to an abnormally large heart, an irregular heartbeat, and the significantly decreased ability of my heart to pump blood. Over the course of the next two weeks, I spent time in the intensive care unit of three different hospitals and traveled home from Hawaii.
At thirty years old, I had experienced a significant cardiac event that no one could have seen coming. It was a viral infection that started as a simple cold heading into winter. Currently, I live every day in heart failure. I have an irregular heartbeat that comes and goes. When it’s irregular, I feel tired, woozy, and generally not myself. I get light-headed if I stand up too quickly, drink too much or too little water, have too much potassium, too much sodium, or don’t get enough sleep. I take a regimen of pharmaceutical drugs that likely rivaled my grandfather in his 70s. I can’t and don't drink alcohol or caffeine anymore. I avoid processed foods and eat out very little.
I tell you all of this simply to share my story. I was enjoying a vacation in a beautiful, tropical destination with the love of my life. I'm not looking for sympathy, nor do I want people to feel sorry for me. I want you to understand that this can, and does happen to anyone. I am asking you to consider donating some of your hard-earned dollars (that you could allocate to any number of causes) to the Heart and Stroke Foundation this year. The research conducted by organizations such as the Heart & Stroke Foundation is life-saving, it's critical.
Your donation will help fund life-saving research breakthroughs and will give us more moments with those we love. I am grateful every single day to have more moments with the ones I love, and I will continue to support this organization so that others can cherish more moments.
On June 7, 2020 I will participate in the Ride for Heart, biking 50km along the Gardiner Expressway and DVP.
Thank you for your support!