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Kiwis urged to think about their legacy

Kiwis urged to think about their legacy

With the World Heart Day and Include A Charity Week approaching, now is a perfect time for Kiwis to think about supporting the life-saving work of the Heart Foundation.

Heart disease is still New Zealand’s single biggest killer of both men and women, claiming the precious lives of one Kiwi every 90 minutes. Globally, heart disease is responsible for the loss of 17.3 million lives per year.

On World Heart Day (September 29), the Heart Foundation will join a worldwide call for national and international leaders to prioritise the need for heart-healthy environments, wherever people live, work, or play.

Next week is also Include A Charity Week and the Heart Foundation - New Zealand’s heart health charity - is asking Kiwis to help it continue saving lives by leaving a gift in their will.

Karen Miller, Heart Foundation Bequest and Donor Relations Specialist, said despite huge advances in both treatment and prevention, heart disease continues to cut short too many lifetimes before they can be fulfilled.

“Heart disease currently sees 90,000 years of life lost each year to disability or premature death. It’s costing New Zealand many millions of dollars annually in health care.”

She said many of these tragic deaths are preventable, which is why the Heart Foundation is steadfast in its goal to stop New Zealanders dying prematurely from heart disease.

“The Heart Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, which means the critical work we do would not be possible without the generous support of everyday Kiwis. We’re calling on Kiwis to ensure we can continue our good work into the future by leaving us a gift in their will," she said.

“Your bequest will allow us to play an active role in our communities as we strive to ensure that all New Zealanders have every opportunity to ‘fulfil a lifetime’ through improved heart health.

As an example of the Heart Foundation’s work, it has awarded $1.8 million in grants for vital research this year. A total of 31 grants were awarded to cardiologists and researchers in July, to help fund projects, fellowships, overseas training and travel.

Miller said the Heart Foundation is committed to improving the heart health of all New Zealanders, and ensuring the reduction in heart disease continues well into the future.

“Legacy funds help keep New Zealand families together for longer, for generations to come," she said.

Include A Charity is a movement to encourage more Kiwis to include a gift in their will to their favourite charity, once they’ve looked after family and friends.

If you have not yet drawn up a will, contact your solicitor to ensure your wishes are carried out as intended. Remember to include your friends and family, then consider leaving a legacy to the Heart Foundation.

To learn more about including the Heart Foundation in your will, visit


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