With the support of the Lindsay and Kawartha Lakes community, 73-year-old Karen McArthur, raised over $7,100 for Heart & Stroke’s annual Heart Month canvass this year. In fact, because of the generous support throughout the area, McArthur was one of the foundation’s top fundraisers in Canada, according to a media release.
Over the past 65 years, the volunteer-led Heart & Stroke Heart Month Canvass has been one of Heart & Stroke’s largest fundraisers. This past February, with public health restrictions in place the canvass happened virtually. McArthur, Lindsay resident and a dedicated fundraiser with 19-years of support for Heart & Stroke behind her — quickly changed course.
Instead of visiting doorsteps, McArthur took to the phone to call donors from previous years and used the online fundraising tools provided by Heart & Stroke, including with her own website, to secure support.
“It’s all about family,” McArthur says. “Both of my parents, older sister and brother died from heart related conditions. Heart & Stroke’s work is personal and I’m so grateful for the support of the whole community who helped me raise so much money for them in the Heart Month canvass. It was a different experience to do the canvass differently this year, but it was worth it and I’m so proud to support such a great cause.”
Heart disease and stroke have not gone away during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, people living with these conditions are at greater risk of complications if they are infected, and emerging research shows that healthy hearts can be damaged by the virus. Support for the Heart & Stroke Canvass will help the foundation continue to fund life-saving research.
“Supporters like Karen are at the centre of our work,” says Erin Killoran, senior community relationship manager at Heart & Stroke. “Dedicated canvassers like her keep our work moving forward and help Heart & Stroke save more lives. We’re so grateful to Karen and the entire Lindsay community for stepping up to raise such an incredible amount of money during Heart Month!”
Community programs like the Heart Month Canvass are instrumental, the organization notes, in helping achieve major research breakthroughs. Some of these include:
- The first heart transplant in Canada
- Supporting the work that found the gene responsible for heart arrythmias
- Supported the work toward the first in-utero surgery performed in Canada to correct congenital heart defects
“I can’t wait to celebrate my 20th Heart & Stroke anniversary and canvass again next February,” McArthur says. “I encourage everyone to get involved however they can. It’s so important and it’s all for a good cause.”