Get Ready to Ride a Bike and Extend a Life at the 24th Annual Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart

April 27, 2011

To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/heart-and-stroke-foundation/torontonians-are-ready-to-ride-a-bike-and-extend-a

TORONTO, April 27 /PRNewswire/ – The Heart and Stroke Foundation is working to eliminate heart disease and stroke. How can it be done?
One way is to offer cyclists a spectacular fundraising
experience–biking along a traffic-free Gardiner Expressway and Don
Valley Parkway in downtown Toronto. On Sunday, June 5, more than 13,000 dedicated cyclists will participate in the 24th Annual Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart. The common goal? To raise $3.9 million for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

The Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart is one of Canada’s largest cycling fundraisers, and the money raised by
participants will go to support leading-edge scientific research that
will extend lives by improving existing treatments and developing new
ones. Heart disease and stroke take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time.
In Toronto and the GTA, the Foundation funds more than 130 researchers,
and has invested more than $13 million in Toronto-based research for

To register, call 416-486-RIDE (7433) or visit www.rideforheart.ca. The Ride sold out early last year – sign up today!

Each person has his or her own reason for riding. For some, it’s to
remember a loved one. For others it’s to celebrate a survivor, perhaps
even themselves. Some see it as a personal challenge.

The RESEARCHERS are a group of men and women who are dedicated to heart and stroke
research. Led by Dr. Marco Di Buono, Director of Philanthropy at The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, these 12 researchers from across Southern Ontario will ride in the Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart. This year they include: Ali Al-Hashimi, Sonia Anand, Brian Berenbaum,
Sydney Broer, Marco D’Amico, Beverly Korodetz, Michelle Leslie, Peter
Liu, Paul Martin, Audrey Shecter, Dave Tobin and Leonard Wechsler.
Their 2011 fundraising goal is $50,000.

The VIP FUNDRAISERS are local leaders and champions of the Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart through their significant fundraising efforts and outstanding support
in spreading the word about the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s work.

And then there are the SURVIVORS. These are heart disease or stroke survivors who will be riding on
event day.

Spokesperson Sheryl Gill is one of the survivors. In 2007, when Sheryl was 38 years old, she
collapsed during a 10-km run at a symposium in California. She had gone
into cardiac arrest, the result of an undetected heart defect. “They
thought they’d lost me,” says Sheryl, “but an AED [Automated External
Defibrillator] restarted my heart.” Back in Toronto, she underwent an
eight-hour open heart surgery, and today is working again. Sheryl is
riding in the Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart, and says, “Your participation helps people like me get another chance
at life.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, with partners, has placed more than 2,600 AEDs in communities across
the province, and 30 lives have been saved as a result. Research shows
that up to 85 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home or in public
places. In Ontario alone, approximately 7,000 cardiac arrests occur
every year. The survival rate of victims for an out-of-hospital cardiac
arrest is less than five percent. However, the use of an AED with CPR
before the arrival of Emergency Medical Services can increase the
chance of survival by up to 75 percent.

Bailey Bernknopf is also a survivor. When she was five months old, her doctor discovered
a heart murmur. As it turned out, Bailey’s heart had several congenital
defects. She has had two surgeries on her heart since then, and now, at
the age of 15, she dances six times a week, and has far more energy
than she did as a child.

Four years ago, survivor Brian Campkin was diagnosed with three blocked arteries, and had to undergo a
life-saving triple bypass surgery. Since that time, he has made a
special effort to get fit, setting himself many successful fitness
goals, including losing 20 pounds, changing his diet, and taking part
in marathon walks and runs. Today, Brian’s health is better than ever.
His positive attitude coupled with the valuable information he was
provided by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, helped him, he says,
“achieve such a miraculous recovery, and my dream goal to walk my
daughter down the aisle at her wedding this November.”

Survivor Matthew Fleming was born in 1995 with a closed heart valve. He has had surgery three
times since then on his heart, once to put in a shunt, and twice to
insert new valves. On May 18, he will undergo a less invasive heart
procedure, to put an implant into the current valve. This procedure can
stave off open-heart surgery to replace his existing valve by as much
as 20 years. Matt’s family is confident that the procedure will be
successful, and Matt says he will be “fit and full of new-found energy
for the RIDE on June 5.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Report on Canadians’ Health 2011
concludes that Canadians have a false sense of security that is cutting
their lives short. We are overestimating our healthy behaviours and
underestimating our tendency to be couch potatoes. Up to 80 percent of
premature heart disease is preventable – yet we’re not managing some of
the most common and deadly cardiovascular risk factors as well as we

Through your support, we are continuing to meet emerging challenges -
such as childhood obesity, women’s risk and a rapidly aging population
– head on. That’s why the 24th Annual Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart is so important; it’s demonstrating the importance of physical
activity, as well as raising essential funds for research.


The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario gratefully acknowledges the following companies for their generous
sponsorship of the 2011 Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart:

Title Sponsor

Corporate Challenge Sponsor
Becel pro.active

Official Sponsors

Raleigh Bicycles
Taste of Nature

EMS/PAD Challenge Sponsors


The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease
and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of
research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as


1)     http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1247/brian-campkin.jpg

2)     http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1247/sheryl.jpg

3)     http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1247/matt-fleming-april-2011-a.jpg

4)     http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1247/Baileygala_and_bestfriends_015_cropped.jpg

SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

Source: newswire

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