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Support The Heart Foundation's Annual St Appeal

26 October 2005

Support Local Hearts

Support The Heart Foundation's Annual Street Appeal

The people of Hamilton are being asked to put the heart-health of their family and neighbours first this week, as the Heart Foundation's Hamilton branch holds its annual Street Appeal to raise money for the charity's work.

Bruce Hooker of Hamilton turned 80 this year and is an example of a true heart disease survivor. Following two major heart attacks in 1991, he had a triple bypass in 1992 and has been inspiration at the Heart Foundation ever since.

Despite a major stroke, Bruce has organized a group of more than 20 volunteers for several years to collect donations for the Heart Foundation at Westfield mall in Chartwell.

"I'm not afraid to asked people if they're interested in helping. A lot of people want to be asked and are waiting to be asked."

Bruce has been a wonderful asset to the Hamilton Branch of the Heart Foundation and has a great attitude.

"I like being involved in doing something. If you're involved in something you feel like it's not a waste of time being here."

Bruce founded the Hamilton Cardiac Care and Heart Support Group which he still convenes regularly. He shares his story and lets others know the importance of fighting cardiovascular disease.

"After my stroke I couldn't talk, I couldn't walk and I still can't write properly. You never get over a stroke."

Bruce will be leading his collection team on both Friday and Saturday at the mall in Chartwell asking shoppers and passers-by to donate to the charity's cause of fighting heart disease in their local community. This part of Hamilton North is an area the Heart Foundation would have been unable to cover without the help of Bruce's team.

All money raised during the Heart Foundation's street appeal will be used to help local projects and community members.

Each year, 40% of all deaths in New Zealand are caused by cardiovascular (heart, stroke and blood vessel) disease. Many of these deaths are premature, and preventable.

"The Heart Foundation works hard each year to support the Hamilton community with a range of services including cardiac research, running education training programmes on nutrition, physical activity and smokefree lifestyles and supporting cardiac rehabilitation programmes and clubs," says Kylie McKee, the Heart Foundation's Regional Heart Health Manager for Midland.

"Since the Heart Foundation was formed in 1968, our work has helped to more than halve stroke and death rates around New Zealand, but we still have far to go before we are truly winning the fight.

"As a charity, much of our success is dependent on generous donations from the public. This is the city's chance to help us help your family and neighbours fight heart disease. We hope everyone is able to support our annual street appeal in some way.

"Please help us help our local hearts live longer and healthier lives by donating to the Heart Foundation."

Street collector volunteers will be placed at malls and supermarkets around town.

ENDS

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