A Gift From the Heart
Sylvia Wicks knows firsthand the hardship of heart disease and stroke. Not only is Sylvia a heart disease survivor, but her mother succumbed to a stroke at age 53, and her father passed away after suffering a heart attack at age 74. Stroke is especially prevalent in Sylvia's family, having claimed the lives of not only her mother, but all four of her mother's siblings.
"At first, it was my family history of stroke that drew me towards becoming more involved with the Heart & Stroke Foundation," Sylvia says. After her own heart attack, Sylvia became even more aware of the negative impact of heart disease and stroke, and the importance of recognizing the warning signs associated with these diseases.
"A few months before my heart attack, I had pain in my left shoulder blade. I went to the doctor and he said it was nothing to worry about. That was 1984, and at the time, women were not seen as at risk for heart disease." In fact, today, heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death for Canadian women.
As Sylvia got ready to leave the hospital two weeks after her heart attack, the unthinkable occurred - she had a second, more severe heart attack just before walking out the hospital door. This attack, stronger than the first, damaged Sylvia's heart and left her with angina. However, she considers herself fortunate that she never required surgery. "Because of the excellent care and the correct drugs to manage my condition, I continue to be very well," she says. Today, Sylvia maintains a balanced diet and advocates for consistent monitoring of blood pressure. "Everyone should have their own monitor and be familiar with the patterns of their own blood pressure."
As a strong supporter of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Sylvia has a plan to make a gift to the Foundation through a bequest in her will. Bequests are an easy and meaningful way in which individuals can make a significant contribution to supporting the Foundation in its mission of reducing the impact of heart disease and stroke through investments in life-saving research, education and advocacy.
Like Sylvia, you too can plan to make a gift to a cause that is close to your heart, and know that your support will have a lasting impact on the future health of those living with heart disease and stroke. Gift planning is a way for you to make a significant contribution to the fight against heart disease and stroke while receiving financial benefits, in terms of tax planning and estate distribution, now or in the future. Your planned gift also provides long term financial stability to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia to enable it to continue finding answers for life.