Valentine’s Day is all about matters of the heart. We celebrate with cards, chocolate and flowers – and talk all about our hearts. But what about our literal hearts?
In Canada, heart disease and stroke take a life every seven minutes. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is tasked with fighting these devastating conditions. Established in 1952, their work has saved thousands of lives by empowering Canadians to live healthier lives, funding research, and fighting for change.
The issue of heart health and the Heart and Stroke Foundation are both causes close to Norm Gallant, Clients Services Team Lead at Maplewave.
Five years ago, Norm was approached by a friend to participate in the Hockey Heroes Weekend in Newfoundland.
Being an avid hockey player, Norm welcomed the invitation.
But his participation extends well beyond his passion for the game. When Norm was 23, his dad was battling cancer and suffered a stroke, and passed away shortly after.
“This was a life changing event for me. So, the event and Heart and Stroke are close to my heart”, explains Norm.
Hockey Heroes is an event hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Teams of 15 are registered online with the goal of reaching $16,000, or $1,000 per player. During the tournament, teams have the chance to play alongside NHL alumni. The funds raised by the weekend go directly towards supporting research and programs that address heart disease and stroke.
Since first signing-up for Hockey Heroes in 2014, Norm has raised roughly $8,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
This year, he is aiming to raise even more. His fundraising goal for 2019 is $5,000.
Aside from raising money for an organization and cause he’s passionate about, Norm also values the interpersonal side of the Hockey Heroes Weekend.
“I get to connect with friends that I don’t talk to every day. People remember my Dad, send their support, and re-connect. I also really enjoy meeting the other participants and hearing their stories – a lot of them have actually survived a heart condition.”
Norm’s ambition and devotion to the Heart and Stroke Foundation has had its influence inside the walls at Maplewave.
After hearing Norm’s story, the Maplewave Charity Committee committed to helping Norm reach his goal and named the Heart and Stroke Foundation their Charity of the Year for 2019.
Leading up to the Hockey Heroes Weekend, Norm and the Charity Committee will host a number of fundraising events to meet the $5,000 goal.
The committee is excited to embark on this adventure with Norm and to support the Heart and Stroke Foundation throughout 2019.
In light of a day centered around sharing what’s in our hearts, we encourage you to talk about heart health with your loved ones.
Have a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day from our heart to yours!
Learn more about Norm’s journey here: http://support.heartandstroke.ca/goto/beard88